Volume 93, Issue 10

Wednesday, September 15, 1999


Men start season with a bang

Making a run for the border

Soccer women split in season opener

Rugby women conquor Quebec

Jays' winning formula

Making a run for the border

Gazette file photo
I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN. The Western cross country team will be using the spiritual powers of henna art to out distance the competition this season.

By Chad Thompson
Gazette Staff

Western's cross country team went the distance south of the border last weekend at the Detroit Mercy Open, setting the pace for a incredible season.

The women's cross country team finished fifth in the five kilometre event. Fourth-year political sciences student Robin Hurley placed fourth setting a Western record for the Detroit course with a time of 18:27 – breaking the previous school record by 63 seconds.

The men's team finished second in the 6.4 kilometre run. Jim Wardel, a first-year Althouse student and team captain, lead the team with a fourth place finish contributing a personal best time of 20:28 to the event.

Head coach Bob Vigars said he was pleasantly surprised with his team's results. "Our lack of men's depth was addressed at this meet," he said. "This is the fastest we've ran since 1993, which is very encouraging."

Vigars heaped praise on Wardel for his fourth place finish. "Jim ran really well," Vigars stated. "He is a good runner but has been spotty over the past four years. But this year it seems he has taken a leadership role in terms of performance."

Vigars said he felt the women's team also ran well considering three of their top five runners were not present. He added if those three runners could have ran, they would have probably won the meet.

"They ran the fastest Western has ever run at this meet and were missing the top five," he said. "[Hurley] ran a great race and it looks like we will be pretty solid."

Wardel said he was pleased with his showing, attributing preparation to his performance. "It felt pretty good," he said. "It was not my top gear. I am in better shape now because I spent the last two months working out."

Hurley said the race went well but she would not use this meet as a gauge of Canadian talent. "It feels good because you never know what the first race will be like," she said. "It was a good start because there was enough competition to make it a worthwhile meet. I wouldn't use this meet as an indicator of the season because there weren't any Canadian schools and our top five [were] not all running."

All things considered, Wardel said this meet was a positive experience. "For the team it went very well," he said. "We were packed up well, there was only 30 seconds difference between the second and fifth runners."

Vigars added this was a good benchmark for the team's season as it will prove helpful in some important comparisons. "We use these results to compare to other teams and where we are racing," he said. "We usually compare to the courses and to times and we improved over last year."

The next event for the cross country team is the Purple and White intersquad meet today at Gibbons Park.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999