Volume 92, Issue 8

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

wheeling and dealing


Mustangs in steeltown tune-up

By Jay Huang
Gazette Writer

For the second consecutive year the Western Mustangs cross country team kicked off their season at the University of Detroit's Mercy Open on Saturday.

The top finishers for the Mustangs in the women's 5 km race were Deanna Dowling in 15th place and Kate Annen in 30th place. Team captain Kristina Farr was running in 11th place before collapsing as a result of dehydration.

In the men's 5 km race, the top finishers were Jim Wardle in 17th place and Chris Kennedy in 22nd place. Last year's Ontario University Athletics and Canadian Inter-university Athletics Union rookie of the year Jason Eddy finished in 34th due to stomach cramps

Coach Bob Vigars did not believe the dehydration and cramps suffered by two of his athletes were the result of ill preparation.

"Our athletes train all year round – therefore they have to be prepared for the start of the season," he said.

Although the team is in good shape, they are not quite in competition shape. Runner Chris Kennedy said some of the other runners have had problems with injuries which had interfered with their training schedule.

The Western women's team finished fifth out of eight teams with Michigan State taking top honours. The men's side finished fifth out of seven teams with Eastern Michigan placing first.

Kennedy did not believe the meet was indicative of the upcoming season for the Mustangs.

"Most of our guys aren't in top shape but we are training harder on hot days to get back to competition level," Kennedy said.

Leading the way for the men will be 1996 OUA all-star Wardle, Kennedy and Eddy. Kennedy's personal goals are to finish in the top 10 in the provincial OUA race and top 10 in the national race. Kennedy also mentioned that Charlie Murphy looks to be the most improved runner and is in the best shape on the team.

The women's side will be more competitive this year. They are led by 1997 OUA all-star Kristina Farr, Deanna Dowling and rookie Becky Martin.

Top teams in the men's division include Windsor and Guelph who will be the Mustangs' top challengers. Nationally, the University of Victoria looks to be the team to beat. Western and Guelph seem to be the strongest teams in the women's division with Victoria once again the top in the nation.

The Mustangs will participate in an intersquad meet today in preparation for the McGill Open on Sept. 19 and the Western Invitational on Sept. 25.

Coach Vigars anticipates the Western Invitational will provide the most accurate gauge of the upcoming competition with many of the top schools from Ontario as well as McGill University, the University of Syracuse and the University of Buffalo attending.

Cross Country Schedule:

Today @ Purple & White 5:00 p.m.

Sat. Sept. 19 @ McGill University Open

10:30 a.m.

Sat. Sept. 26 @ Western Invitational

11:00 a.m.

Sat. Oct. 3 @ Chicago Invitational

11:00 a.m.

Fri. Oct. 9 @ Mustang Open 4:00 p.m.

Sat. Oct. 17 @ Syracuse University Open 11:00 a.m.

Sat. Oct. 24 @ Laurier Open 1:00 p.m.

Sat. Oct. 31 @ Windsor OUA Finals 1:00 p.m.

Sat. Nov. 14 @ Waterloo CIAU Finals 1:00 p.m.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998