NATIONAL CHAMPION: Qualicum Beach’s Thomas Riva crosses the line first in the men’s 1

Qualicum Beach athlete is a national track champion

Thomas Riva won the 1,500 m event at National Track and Field Championships in Edmonton

Qualicum Beach’s Thomas Riva ran his way into the number one spot at the Canadian National Track and Field Championships in Edmonton, Alberta last week, earning a gold medal in the 1,500 metre event. (See Riva crossing the finish line on the front page.)

Riva, who just finished his senior season with the University of Victoria Vikings track and field team, captured the gold with a time of four minutes, 6.16 seconds.

He edged out Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec, who finished second with a time of four minutes, 6.58 seconds.

“It was pretty thrilling,” Riva said after his victory.

“To be honest, it was pretty much a blur. I knew that when I was close to the line it was going to be a close finish because it was a very tactical race that everyone had ran.”

“Everyone in the group saved it all for the last lap and it made for an exciting finish.”

With the nationals finished, Riva is home for a brief rest before boarding a flight to Europe, where he will race twice in Belgium before exploring other racing options on the continent.

“I’ll race twice in Belgium,” Riva said. “I’m going to run the 1,500 and I might even run the 800 metre event while I’m there too.”

“We’ll see how things go; I’m going to just play it by ear. There’s a few more options for races while I’m in Europe too but so far it’s just the two races in Belgium that I’m working towards for now.”

Capping off an excellent career at UVic, Riva was named the Male Athlete of the Year to finish his fifth year there.

During his time as a member of the Viking Riva also earned Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s (CIS) second team all-Canadian and Canada West first team all-star in cross country.

In track, he earned Canada West male athlete of the year, Canada West first team all-star, CIS first team all-Canadian, a bronze medal in the 1,000m (Canada west) and a gold in the 1,000m (CIS).

Riva also won gold in the Canada west 1,500 m event. In the 4x400m, Riva earned bronze (CIS) and in the 4x800m, earned Canada west gold and silver (CIS).

All of that was done in his fifth and final season with the Vikings.

“It’s been great,” Riva said. “Everything I’ve done has been building towards this and now that I’ve won the gold in the 1,500 at nationals, I’m feeling very positive about the 1,500 going forward.”

Riva will continue running leading up to the nationals again next year, where he hopes to earn himself a spot on the Canadian Olympic team.

“That’s the big goal,” Riva said. “I’d like to be able to continue this great run and have another good year next year leading in to the Olympics.”

“If I can keep it up and earn myself a good enough qualifying time for the 1,500, hopefully that will land me a spot on the Olympic team.”

Just Posted

Association requests retention of surplus funds

Plan to increase hours of caseworkers

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Thrift Shop celebrated during SOS 50th year

A celebration week will take place from Sept. 24-29 at the Thrift Shop

Open burn ban lifted for Coastal Fire Centre

Prohibitions will be lifted at noon on Sept. 19

RDN to increase water services fees

The Regional District of Nanaimo is amending its water services charges to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read