Wrestlers grapple with success
Everyone guns for the stampeding Mustangs
Skating past adversity
Skating past adversity
By Anthony Thomas
Slowed by a coaching change and hampered by cut-backs on ice time, the Western figure skating team triple-axeled their way to a solid fifth place finish at the Ontario University Athletics figure skating championships in York this weekend
"We weren't expecting to win," said veteran Western skater Megan McDonald. "Our ice time was cut from four days a week to three days a week and a coaching change delayed training. We also had lot of rookies who didn't know what to expect. We wanted to go in and put down a good showing. Fifth is respectable."
Western's head coach Alma Moir said she was pleased with the top five performance based on the team's slow start. The club missed the first competition of the year.
The Mustangs finished two places higher than last year, medalling in five events.
Coaching problems have plagued the team this year causing a number of the skaters to stop coming out to practices, a problem solved thanks to Moir.
"We have an excellent coach now that knows what she is doing," McDonald said.
Queen's took home the team gold for the fifth straight year.
"Queen's has four different coaches, far more ice time and they don't have to skate in the morning," McDonald said.
Western only has two coaches and often trains at 6:30 a.m..
Brock coach Laurie-Anne de Boer said Queen's has funding and sponsors that far out-match most schools. "It would be beneficial if everybody practiced the same, but some schools aren't sponsored."
Although Queen's may have a few things in their favour, McDonald was confident they are beatable.
"Queen's is a step above the competition but they are not unreachable," McDonald said. "Give us a year or two to get our program really going again. We have a great rink and a lot of facilities."
Convincing Moir to stay on as head coach for next year is key if Western hopes to compete. She coached Western from 1978 to 1993, winning seven championships in that time including back to back championships in her final two years.
Moir has not decided if she will return but she said if she does, the team goal will be a top three finish.
Moir also said professionals will be allowed to skate in university competitions next year but is undecided on whether that is positive or negative. According to the Mustang coach, a number of professional skaters do attend Western.