Mustangs ranked No. 2 in Canada
Swimming in the deep end
Rowers strike silver - twice
Pre-season donimance continues
Rowers strike silver - twice
By Wes Brown
The rowing season came to an end last weekend and both Western's men's and women's teams were able to stroke their way to silver medal finishes at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in St. Catherines.
Both teams combined for the best point total overall, with a tally of 120. Western won five out the 10 events and medalled in nine races.
Western women's head coach Al Morrow said he was proud of the effort of both teams. He said the Mustangs as a whole improved tremendously since the event was held for the first time two years ago.
"We had five first place finishes, two seconds and two thirds in the 10 events, if you can believe it. This is the third year this event has been in existence and in that time we have moved our rank from third to second," Morrow said.
The CURC is not a sanctioned Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union event, but Morrow said 14 schools from across Canada still take part in the two day finals which are usually dominated by western Canadian teams.
"[The University of Victoria] and [the University of British Columbia] are usually the dominant forces at this event and it wasn't a matter of them not doing well, it was the fact we did really well. This just shows the strength of our team," Morrow said.
Siobhan McLaughlin, a heavy weight rower on the women's team, said she was happy with their performance, especially since they managed to beat the West Coast teams.
"We did really well," McLaughlin said. "We didn't know going into it how strong the teams from out West were coming second overall was really good."
While the weather during the previous week had been erratic, McLaughlin said the weekend conditions did not have a major impact on the tournament.
"Friday we didn't get much of a practice," she said. "Saturday was nice and Sunday was just cold. It wasn't too bad and we did exactly what we wanted."
Western men's heavy weight and light weight doubles rower Pat Cody said he was happy with the manner in which the team came together towards the end. He added it was a great way to cap off the season.
"We could feel the momentum building in our boats and in our camp. We knew we were on the verge of something special," Cody said. "I would say the basic attitude of a really cohesive group is what set us apart from the other teams."
Victoria has always dominated at this meet and Cody said to actually beat them in overall points, 120-116, was phenomenal. "The only reason Brock [University] beat us out for first is because they won the [heavy weight] eight and that has the most points."
Queen's University head coach John Armitage said the entire championship was excellent and it is a format definitely worth continuing in university rowing.
"Our men ended up sixth, but the most disappointing [thing] was that the women won the [Ontario University Athletic] championship, but ended up fifth," he said. "Western has won the women's OUAs seven out of the last 10 years. Anytime someone can beat Western, it makes it that much better."
He added Victoria, Western and Brock each have professional coaches, which tends to set them apart from the rest of the schools who competed in the finals.