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Both regions of the Pacific North were in action on Saturday with the Pacific Northwest’s Can-Am 7s and Northern California’s Silicon Valley 7s. In the Northwest’s first national qualifier tournament, the defending National 7s Champion, the Seattle Saracens, won the Can-Am 7s handily as both sides of the club reached the final. For NorCal, Life West picked up its second first place finish at the Silicon Valley 7s finishing ahead of the Olympic Club and the EPA Razorbacks.
Celebrating the 38th anniversary of the Can-Am 7s tournament, Chuckanut Bay hosted the event in Bellingham, Wash. for 24 teams in three divisions. The Men’s Qualifier consisted of eight clubs with Seattle I, Bridge City, Western Washington University, the Eastside Axemen in one pool and Chuckanut Bay, Seattle II, the Westside Ronin, and the Bellvue Wolverines in the other.
Seattle I blanked the competition 138-0 in pool play and matched up against the Westside Ronin in the semifinals. On the other side, Seattle II and the Eastside Axemen competed in the second playoff. Both sides of the Saracens advanced to the final, but declined to play giving the top side the first place points.
In the Women’s bracket, ORSU defeated the 2015 National Finalist, Seattle, with no time on the clock to bring home the Can-Am title. Both cup entrants went undefeated in pool play and ORSU and Seattle ran past Bayside and Seattle II in the semifinals, respectively.
According to Seattle’s Club President Kevin Flynn, the goal is for the Saracens to repeat as National 7s Champions and have the Women’s side achieve the same success. Seattle has experienced players like Mike Palefau, Miles Craigwell, and Ryan Snyder to rely on to get back to the National Finals.
Flynn stated that hard work and competition within the club is showing immense benefits on the field. “Everyone is very working hard and there is a lot of competition to get into the side. There are over 30 people at the training sessions and they are all looking at a spot in that 12-person roster at the end of the year. That is really driving the players to work very hard to try and make those squads.”
The third leg of the NorCal 7s Series stopped in Mountain View, Calif. for the Silicon Valley 7s where 14 teams competed in three divisions. The Men’s Qualifier clubs played a round robin with the first place given to the team with the best record and point differential.
Life West, the Olympic Club, and EPA each finished with 3-1 records with the Gladiators taking home first place based on point differential. Life West rebounded from an opening game loss to EPA to blank San Jose and East Bay, then edge the Olympic Club, 14-7, in the intense final game of the day. For the Olympic Club, it beat EPA, San Jose, and East Bay before succumbing to Life West at the end. EPA finished in third with a wins over Life West, San Jose, and East Bay.
For the Women’s Qualifier, the All Blues avenged an early two-point loss against Life West to beat the Gladiatrix in the final, 28-12, to capture the tournament title. The two teams met in the final after the All Blues were 2-1 in the round robin and Life West was 3-0.
After three NorCal tournaments, Life West, Olympic Club and EPA have qualified for the Men’s Pacific North (ACR1) Championships on July 30th. Two teams from the Pacific Northwest will join NorCal in San Francisco in three weeks. For the women, Life West, the All Blues, and San Jose have qualified for the championships where they will meet two clubs from the Pacific Northwest and one from Hawaii.