Volume 92, Issue 31

Thursday, October 29, 1998

behind closed doors


SPORTS
 

Off season training pays off big time



©Gazette File Photo


ICEBERG! STRAIGHT AHEAD. Jane Thornton's success this season appears to be unstoppable. Well, except for a few things.

BY JUSTIN KLIEN

Gazette Staff

Western might be known for its party atmosphere, but for Jane Thornton of the Mustang rowing team, there has been little time for partying lately.

Thornton came to Western to row and that is exactly what she has done. No stranger to the water, Thornton can be found most mornings doing vigorous exercises before the average person even presses the snooze button for the first time.

And all that hard work has paid off with Thornton being named Western female athlete of the month for September, after a great start to the season.

The reasoning for such a honour is simple – her impact on the team.

Western travelled to Brock recently to compete in the last of the four regattas of the season. With the team's finish effecting their seeding heading into this weekend's Ontario University Athletic championship, the team looked to Thornton for leadership, which she fulfilled with two gold medals that weekend.

"Jane has had a really good record so far this year," said head coach Al Morrow. "She helped the women's eight [boat] win their race and she won the women's single by a nice margin."

Although Thornton had a very prosperous season last year, her growing hunger for success drove her to improve her technique and her mental strength. She came back from the summer in the best physical shape she has been in and it has shown in her races this year. Teammate Amanda Schweinbenz has witnessed the improvement and is optimistic about the near future.

"Jane is an excellent athlete who is enjoying a great season," Schweinbenz said. "She is a great team player and I hope she helps us win the OU's for the second straight season."

Thornton's success dates back to her early experiences on the water. Following close instruction from her coach and former olympian Don Dickenson, Thornton excelled at the high school level winning several national titles.

Thornton said she had been named high school athlete of the year so many times her secondary school in New Brunswick was rumoured to have thought about changing the trophy's name to "The Jane Thornton Award."

Her move to the single scull came about this summer after she was unable to find a training partner. Never one to step away from a challenge, Thornton decided to go out one day by herself and attempt to row a single boat.

"I had no other partner to row with at the time," the third-year kinesiology student said. "It was pretty convenient for me to go out by myself and I found out that I enjoyed it quite a bit."

With such great success, some question what Thornton wants to accomplish next in her rowing career? To that she has a simple answer.

"I hope that our team remains undefeated at the end of the season," Thornton said. "I hope that I continue to improve and hopefully one day I can row on the national team."


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Copyright © The Gazette 1998