Volume 92, Issue 63

Wednesday, January 20, 1999

elmer the elephant


Track team runs wild in Windsor

Moir brings results in varsity return

Ryerson head coach Carnevale crosses the thin blue line

Moir brings results in varsity return

By Asher Markham
Gazette Staff

The goal for the Western Mustang figure skating team at any competition is normally doing the best they possibly can.

After what the team has already had to deal with this season, the goal this past weekend at the Laurier Invitational in Waterloo was changed to just getting through it. Yet what the Mustangs did was more than just get through it and they came away with an unexpected third place finish.

The problems with the team began when Robin Hewitt-Coope re-signed from her position as head coach earlier this year. Western's intercollegiate athletics was having great difficulties finding someone new to lead the team and were all but ready to scrap the season when they got in touch with an old friend.

Alma Moir, who coached Western's skating team from 1978 until 1993, agreed to take the reins for the second time a few weeks into the training season.

Moir said she has been pleased with the quick progress of the team and pointed to the results in Waterloo as proof.

"The team did surprisingly well this weekend at Laurier," Moir said.

"We went through a lot of turmoil at the start and as a result are a few weeks behind the other teams."

Because of last year's disappointing season and a good portion of last season's team lost to graduation, Western has been forced to look to some of their rookies to lead the team into the new millennium. One rookie in particular has caught Moir's eye.

Jennifer Smeaton, who has skated in cities including Preston and Hamilton since she was six years old, placed first in solo competition this past weekend. She is now gearing up to do the same at the Ontario University Athletics finals at York University on Feb. 12 and 13.

"Besides training hard and trying to be consistent, myself and some of the other rookies just try to have lots of energy and fun at the practices," Smeaton said.

This has not gone unnoticed by team members. Meghan McDonald, a third-year veteran with the Mustangs, said she believes the team feeds off Smeaton in a number of ways.

"Besides being a really hard worker and never missing practices, she really seems to keep things light," McDonald said. "It's hard to be really enthusiastic that early in the morning, but she manages to do it."

As for future goals, Moir is hoping to continue finishing in third place. Ten teams will be participating in the OUA finals this year. She recognized this might be a tough goal to achieve, but based on the results she saw at last weekend's performance, anything is possible.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999