Volume 92, Issue 47

Thursday, November 26, 1998

permanent cast


A toss above competition

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

By Justin Klein
Gazette Staff

The Western cheerleading team may not be the biggest draw when it comes to ticket sales, but there is no contesting they are the most successful of all Mustang clubs, winning their 14th consecutive national title this past weekend at York University.

Western had a few question marks coming into this year's title defence, with nine rookies making up half of the club's roster. But according to Western's head coach David Lee Tracey, the club adopted the slogan "no weak link" in an effort to continue their legacy.

"The team has been training hard since August," Tracey said. "Our big thing is 'NWL.' I want the rawest, youngest, newest kid to not look like it."

Alex Robinson, the co-captain and fourth-year veteran on the team, said the inexperience of his club didn't worry him.

"We have 11 rookies on the team that perform like veterans," Robinson said. "Any one of them can fill my shoes."

After two flawless 2.5 minute performances, the Mustangs beat out the other 13 teams at the event and were 40 points better than second place Queen's.

"After the first round, we were ahead by so much," said Kelley Jordan, a second-year veteran on the team. "This only shows that Western is head and shoulders above Queen's and all the other competition."

Queen's head coach Sandy Han said that not even inexperience could stop the Mustangs from basket tossing over the competition.

"We are comparing apples to oranges," Han said. "Western performed outstanding as usual. Most teams aim to do their best, but it is unrealistic to think that you can beat Western."

The Mustangs will practice their routines in front of the screaming fans supporting the men and women's basketball teams in anticipation of their next competition in Daytona Beach, Florida. The 1999 National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National Championships will be held April 1-4 and there will be 150 teams attending the event. Western, who finished third last year will be the only Canadian team at the event.

"There is going to be tough competition from all the schools attending, especially from the schools from the Texas area," Tracey said. "We are going to work hard and hope to improve on our third place finish from last year."

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998