The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rowing team displays the national championship banner. (Courtesy of the University of Victoria)

The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rowing team displays the national championship banner. (Courtesy of the University of Victoria)

UVic women’s rowing team wins national title and Jane Gumley named coach of the year

Vikes women’s rowing team head coach is the first female coach to win the national banner

The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rowing team are national champions and head coach Jane Gumley has once again been named coach of the year.

The program came out on top at the Canadian University Rowing Championships for the first time in a decade on Nov. 6.

Gumley has now come away with the coach of the year award in two consecutive seasons.

“I’m really excited and honoured to be the first female coach to win a banner,” Gumley said. “This year there were more female coaches than ever before, which was great to see. My winning shows that more women are getting into coaching and making an impact in the sport.”

The women’s eight won the gold and clocked in at 6:12.270, which is a new course record.

“It feels great to win,” captain Danae McCulloch said. “I was honestly in disbelief. The team has worked so hard and come so close, and there is no better way to finish my last Canadian University Rowing Championships. I’m excited to see what the team can do in the future.”

The lightweight double made up of Paige Letham and Genevieve Olson also took home a gold medal.

“The small boats rallied in a big way,” Gumley added. “The weather and conditions were really bad on Saturday, so we had to focus on having a good clean performance and just getting through it.”

The program will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vikes rowing on Nov. 19.

“When we found out we won the banner, we were ecstatic, but the first thing the team acknowledged was the 50 years that built up to this point and all of the amazing female athletes that paved the way and came before,” said Gumley.

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