Volume 93, Issue 56

Wednesday, December 8, 1999


Football coach Larry Haylor talks sports and life

Mustang track sets early season pace

Ski team and women's hockey ready for winter

Picking those Mustangs

'Twas the Sports awards of '99

Another banner year for Western Mustang teams

Ski team and women's hockey ready for winter

By Chad Thompson
Gazette Staff

The beginning of winter means many teams at Western are reaching the mid-points of their season, or are just the beginning their quest for athletic excellence. The women's ice hockey team now takes a break for the Christmas holiday, but the Western ski team is just getting started.

Kerr Ferguson, head coach of the hockey team, said this year's team is a re-introduction of women's hockey to Western. "They had a women's hockey team years ago. I have been trying to get one started since 1996."

Ferguson added the athletes have to pay a $350 fee, as the squad is not a varsity level team. "They are responsible for their own travel and equipment," he said. "The fees cover the ice costs."

Due to their status as a club team, the women are unable to face Ontario University Athletics competition, but Ferguson said he hoped the team would get to participate in the OUA soon. "Apparently you don't have to be full varsity to be part of the OUA," he said. "Intercollegiate Athletics just needs to sign the eligibility form for us."

The women currently play exhibition games in a league which consists of the London Devilettes, Sarnia Starfire, Lambton Vipers, Michigan Chiefs and the Plymouth Vipers.

As for the Mustangs who choose to swish down the hills instead of sliding across the ice, Andrew von Tiedman, head coach and co-captain of the Western ski team said they are looking towards another successful year.

"We are looking to a bunch of new things. Over the last few years we have really improved our fund-raising. Because we are not a varsity sport, we have to raise a lot more money," he said.

"We will have a full uniform this year, a training trip to St. Anne after the break, six races between January and March and the possibility of a national race which would be the first of its kind."

Von Tiedman added the teams in the Ontario ski league are either club teams or independent of the school. "None of the other schools have the varsity status, it was wiped out. Some have club status others are just completely independent of the school and do it with the name of the school [like us]."

Over the last few months, the team has been training on dry land, he said. "We have been playing a lot of soccer, working on footwork and agility and endurance. Along with that, we do a lot of free skiing and gate training for Slalom and Giant Slalom, which are two main focuses – we do that twice a week."

Von Tiedman added despite their lack of varsity status, the teams in the league are able to keep in touch. "We have email, but we have a league organizer who is Alpine Ontario South and they organize all the skiing. They co-ordinate through all of us where the events are going to be."

Both Ferguson and von Tiedman said they are looking forward to bright prospects in the year 2000.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999