Volume 93, Issue 44
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Duck flies high at CIAU finals
Photo courtesy of the cross country team
By Chad Thompson
The Western women's cross country team went mining for silver this weekend, but one Mustang came away with gold at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union Championships Saturday in Kingston.
As a team, the Mustangs finished second in the meet and Teresa Duck, a second-year mechanical engineering PhD student, captured the individual gold medal only the second title for a female cross country runner in the history of Western.
When asked how it felt to be a national champion, Duck said it was thrilling. "It feels great, it's really exciting," she said, adding the team finish was also important. "It's exciting as a team because we were ranked third going in and we beat Guelph [University]. They had nipped us by one at the [Ontario University Athletics championship]. It was a big highlight [beating Guelph]."
At the end of the race, Duck said her concern focused around the results of her team. "I was thinking about the rest of the team and seeing what was going on," she said. "The team did great, you can see by their positions the team did well."
After the race, Duck said she made a call to her family to tell them she was the national champion. "It was fun, giving the call to them," she said.
With the win, Duck qualifies for the World University Games in Germany, but she said the expense of the trip may deter her from taking part. "They're in March. I have never competed in them and I'm interested in going, but I will have to look at the finances first to see if I can go."
Duck added her decision would also depend on if her PhD supervisors at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre would give her the time off.
Western head coach Bob Vigars said he was happy with the team's results, adding it was their victory, not his. "It doesn't feel as significant for me as it does for the athletes."
Vigars added the team was happier with this year's results than last year's. "We finished second last year and we were all down in the mouth because we knew we could have won," he said. "This year it was a joy to go in ranked third and finish second."
The Guelph Gryphons, who beat the Mustangs in the OUA championships came in third, four points behind Western. Despite the third place finish, Guelph head coach Dave Scott-Thomas said he was pleased with the outcome. "My goal was to finish ahead of Western which we didn't, but I am still quite happy with the result."
Having an OUA runner win the national championship shows the strength of the OUA conference, Scott-Thomas added. "Traditionally [the OUA] has performed well as a conference at the [CIAUs]," he said, pointing out the fact the OUA had three of the top four teams Western, Guelph and Queen's University. "We have the deepest conference in the country."
The end of the cross country season also marks the first time Vigars will have a day off from running, as he retired from his track and field coaching position last month. Vigars said it would be a test to not head over to Thompson arena this week for track practice.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999