Volume 93, Issue 56
Wednesday, December 8, 1999
Mustang track sets early season pace
Gazette file photo
I KNEW I SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN THAT LEFT AT NUNAVUT. Fortunately, most of Western's track team found their way to last weekend's Western season opener.
By Wes Brown
Western's track and field team burned up both the track and the field last weekend, as the men's and women's squads faired extremely well in the Western season opener.
The Mustangs had a mini gold medal rush at the early season meet, collecting 12 in all. Three of these came from the men's side and nine from the women's.
Steven Hurst placed first in triple jump, with a leap of 14.25 metres. Head track coach Vickie Croley said over the last six seasons, Western has had jumpers who have consistently surpassed the 14 metre length. "Steve is just continuing Western's reign in the men's triple jump."
John Ascott, Hubert Ling, Wayne Leecock and Jason Stern also won gold in the 4x200 metre relay. First-year rookie Preet Atwal took first in the pentathlon with a total of 3,278 points in the five events.
On the women's side, first-year team member Aderienne Lucia paved the way, gold medaling in the 60 metre hurdles, the 300 metre sprint and the 4x400 relay. Croley said Western will be hearing a lot about Lucia by the time the season is over.
Women's co-captain Daniele Marentette took home gold in the long jump and said it was nice to see all the personal bests so early in the season. "We're very supportive of each other, cheering on our teammates even though we're so competitive with each other," she said.
Men's co-captain Jim Wardle did not participate in the meet, but said the team did really well. "After running eight to nine long distance races in the fall, you need a mental break before you can jump into the track season," he said. "The rookies were in great shape for such an early meet. There was a balance throughout the team and the events field, track, relays we really weren't sure how it was going to go."
Croley said while the men's team was not at their full strength, those who competed did quite well, considering they were missing some key distance runners. She added this year's women's team is just as strong as last year's, even though they lost two key runners to graduation.
"We have a strong group of rookies on both [teams] who are looking to compete right away. They are going to pick up the slack of the members we lost from last season."
York University head coach Colin Inglis said there is great parody across Ontario University Athletics track and field because of the high number of top athletes lost from last season. "It's a pretty even field this year in both the men and the women."
Laurentian University also took part in the meet and head coach Rick Carleton said no single university stood out more than another. "[The University of] Guelph and Western didn't have all of their top distance runners. It's just too early in the season to make sweeping judgments on teams."
As Western breaks for the holidays, women's co-captain Val Moran said they will continue with their maintenance program and get prepared for training camp in early January. She added she is extremely excited about what's going to happen this season.
"We have a fresh new team outlook, our strengths are abundant and our veterans and rookies are doing things so well, so early," Moran said. "Something I try and stress for the whole team is when one person succeeds, the entire team succeeds."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999