Volume 93, Issue 18
Thursday, September 29, 1999
Western Ducks the competition
©John Paul Mocrulski/Gazette
I MUST BE REALLY BEHIND, I DON'T SEE ANYONE IN FRONT OF ME. It was exactly the opposite for Teresa Duck as she stayed well ahead of the competition, winning the Western International cross country meet.
By Sean Maraj
On your marks, get set, go!
The Western cross country team was going places over the weekend at the Western International cross country meet, as the team put in strong finishes. Several of the Mustang runners were able to top their respective races.
The women's cross country team, a contender for the national championships, came out of the meet with a strong second place finish. Even though Guelph upset Western as the surprise winners, head coach Bob Vigars said he was happy with the team's performance on the weekend and is still confident in their national championship chances.
"We have reasonable talent and we're in the hunt to be national champions," he said. "When you have the talent you'll have a decent showing. We have the horses to do well."
The Mustangs were once again led by strong performances from Teresa Duck and Janet Gamble, but even they could not ruin the Gryphons' day. "Guelph works hard at it," Vigars said. "The coach there is very proactive and he's a good recruiter. They picked up some good people this year."
Perhaps the best performance of the day came from Duck who is leading the way for the women's team this year. Duck managed to overpower her competition by running five kilometres in 18 minutes, four seconds. That time was 19 seconds faster than the second place finish and put her fourth on the Western all-time list.
Vigars said he was happy with what he saw and thought Duck could run even faster. "It was Teresa's first race in university since 1996. I'm hopeful she'll run even faster for us."
Duck said she was happy with her team's performance and was quick to deflect attention from her finish to the team and the large crowd that attended the meet. "The course is very spectator friendly, it's a great boost to have everyone cheering you on. The team's working well and that's also a boost," she said.
She added she was happy with the performance of the Mustangs, which attributed to the strong showing of team cohesiveness. "We've been training really well as a group, we have team unity."
The cross country men, hit hard by injuries, still had a strong showing with many athletes running personal best times. Men's captain Jim Wardle said he was happy with the team's performance. "Overall we did fairly well. Most people were pretty happy with their performance."
Vigars added he was also pleased with how the men's team performed overall. "They ran better than last year," Vigars said.
Now, the team begins preparation for the Loyola Lakefront Invitational meet in Chicago this weekend.
Vigars remained confident they have what it takes to do well later in the season. "We always compare ourselves to the top. Our undoing will come down to depth and as long as the big bangers stay healthy we have the front-runners and we have the work ethic."
The women are vying for a spot at the top of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union and the men are looking for a medal at the Ontario University Athletics championships.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999