Volume 91, Issue 90

Thursday, March 19, 1998

Howe 'bout it


SPORTS
 

Schultz sprints across the globe



©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
GO AWAY OR I WILL TAUNT YOU A SECOND TIME Mustang Guy Schultz has been having fun silencing Canadian runners this season and now turns to world competition for a challenge this weekend in Morocco.




By Ian Ross

Gazette Staff

Guy Schultz is Western's equivalent to the Energizer bunny – he keeps going and going.

Winning the national cross-country championships in the fall and coming off a double-gold performance at the Canadian university track and field championships last weekend, Schultz is off to the races again this weekend to compete in the World Cross-Country Championships in Morocco.

Being the first Mustang to compete at this level since Fraser Bertran in 1992, Schultz will be returning to the highest international competition for the second year in a row.

Last year, while training and competing at the University of Alabama, he travelled to Italy and placed 175th out of 350 competitors – posting the second fastest Canadian time.

With a year of experience under his belt, Schultz's goal now is to improve on his 175th place finish, which will be a daunting task against talented competition from Europe and Africa.

"Last year was a big eye opener for me with the African runners. I know what to expect now," he said. "I hope not to be intimidated as much as I was last year."

While Shultz has managed to succeed in the Canadian varsity circuit this season, he tore the meniscus tissue in his left knee in December, which has hampered the runner's long-distance training. He plans to undergo surgery on the knee after the Worlds.

"On paper he's not ready. But then again, on paper he shouldn't have done as well as he did at [the national championships]," Western cross-country and track coach Bob Vigars said. "He was beating guys he should not have been beating even though his endurance training has been curtailed."

Schultz questioned to what extent the injury will effect him. "I'm just not sure how long my knee will hold up," he said. Regardless, Schultz maintained that he will still make his best effort.

He points to the climate and timing of the event as two big factors why Canadian runners have been unable to keep pace at the international level.

"Europe is in season and [North America is] indoors at this time of the year. It is especially difficult for Canadians who have to run in the snow during the winter months," he said.

Vigars agreed with his prized pupil, adding Canadian culture does not lend itself to promoting increased competition within its own boundaries.

"Everyone in the world runs, but not everyone plays hockey," he said. "Kenyans aren't born to run, it's part of their culture. It's highly celebrated and something they aspire to."

With over 30 countries sending their best to the Worlds, Schultz will need to work hard if he hopes to find success at the highest level of competition in the sport.


To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998