By: Laura Sinclair

Victoria Coates is very familiar with CIS medals. In all of her years as a Marauder, she has six, with four of them being won for cross country, and two of them won for track. The 3000m is her specialty event, and on March 8, she proved that by winning the bronze medal in a showdown race that was all too familiar.

Coates finished in third place, no more than a couple seconds behind the first and second place finishers Andrea Seccafien and Carise Thompson of Guelph, who also came first and second respectively at the OUA Championships two weeks ago. The results of this CIS Track Championship in Edmonton played out the exact same way as the CIS Cross Country Championships did in November, and Coates wanted to carry the momentum from her amazing cross country season to the track.

As this CIS Championship meet was her last one as a Marauder, Coates wanted to have the perfect race, which can be hard at the big-time meets that are all about strategy. “My coach, Rory, had me very prepared for this race. We talked about every possible scenario so I knew exactly what I wanted to do depending on how the race was unfolding,” explained the senior. This race, in particular, started off as a jog compared to the speed that the fastest woman in the country are used to, so Victoria decided to take matters into her own hands. “I wanted to make sure that I was in control and that the race would play out to my strengths, so when the pace went out slow, I knew what I needed to do and I took the lead,” said Coates.

Coates led the race for a little over a kilometre before the pace started to quicken, and when that happened, she tucked into third and stayed there for the rest of the race, running to a time of 9:43, and finishing off her final season as a Marauder with yet another medal. “While I didn’t run quite as fast as I had hoped, overall I think I had a great season that was topped off with running a personal best and picking up the bronze medal at CIs, so I couldn’t be happier,” said Coates.

Although it is her final season wearing the maroon and grey, Coates says she is not done with running yet. “I’m looking forward to the outdoor track season where I will be running the 5000 m. There is also the possible opportunity to compete at the Canada Summer Games this year, so that will be something that I’ll have my eye on to qualify for.” As for school, Coates is currently looking at the University of Toronto, Queens, or Ryerson for their Urban Planning program, where she will compete for one of the lucky school’s teams for her final year of eligibility.

Despite the school switch, Coates will miss the McMaster University and the track team, and will always be a Marauder at heart. “I’ve had such an amazing experience with the best coaches and teammates that anyone could ever ask for, and I really can’t thank them enough,” confesses the bronze medalist.

Coates was not the only Marauder that scored the bronze medal this weekend. Scott Hutchinson, the powerful, and versatile sprinter, also came back with the bronze medal in the 300 m. He ran to a time of 34.34, in an exciting race that saw him just milliseconds away from second place. Hutchinson was very active in the CIS Championships, running a total of five races including the preliminary heats and relays. Hutchinson will be back as a Marauder next year, and hopes to do more on the track, with a new specialty event: the 600m.

Among other notable finishes for the McMaster track team, Rudy Baronnette finished eigthth overall in the 300m, just missing out on the final. He ran to a time of 35.24s.

The 4x200m saw the powerful team of Scott Hutchinson, Rudy Baronnette, Connor Mabbott, and Garrick Mok finish seventh overall.

Lastly, the 4x400m team made up of Scott Hutchinson, Rudy Baronnette, Connor Mabbott and Brandon Huzevka finished 12th overall.

Next on the schedule for the McMaster track team is a little break before starting to train again for the outdoor track season that begins in May.

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