Women's volleyball winning streak hits the 50 mark
Stangs come up lame
Male wrestlers have a good weekend
Mustangs run wild
Male rowers win OUA banner
Mustangs still face greatest challenge
Mustangs run wild
By Ryan Dixon
The Western Mustangs cross country team were running like wild horses on Saturday at the Ontario Univeristy Athletics championships held in Waterloo.
The women paced themselves to a second place finish and a berth in the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union championships in two weeks. The men however, could not hit the winning stride, coming up one place short with a hard earned fourth place finish.
The top team in both the male and female category hailed from Guelph. The Gryphons were known as the team to beat heading into the competition and they proved their reputation.
The women fell just 13 points shy of first place Guelph. Western men's runner, Vince Del Monte, who ran a personal best, said coming so close to qualifying was a tough pill for the men's team to swallow.
"It was very disappointing. Everybody ran so well and really stepped it up, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. The competition was really tough," he said.
It is important to note the CIAU championship is an open event, meaning any team can enter. However, as Queen's head coach, Shane Lankins pointed out, most teams impose their own standards. Western is no exception. Both the men and women realize heading into the competition that they must finish no lower than third to qualify for the nationals.
Del Monte said his team certainly knew that. In fact, they knew while they were competing where they stood in the overall scheme of things.
"We knew while we were running what position we were in. We had people yelling 'you have to pass that guy to go to CIAUs,'" Del Monte said.
Del Monte said he, like all of his teammates, left nothing in the tank. "I gave it my all and I was glad I was able to contribute."
The Western women were paced by the performance of Kate Annen who had a personal best time on the day. Annen was outrun by only three competitors as she burned the track to a fourth place finish. Not far behind was the woman who has led the lady Mustangs all year, Janet Gamble, who finished seventh.
Annen said she was content with the team's performance. "We ran pretty well, I think we finished close to where we expected. We knew Guelph had a strong team coming in."
Queen's rounded out the top three on the women's side. Lankins said the competition was solid but he really felt confident his Golden Gaels' ladies would come home with a medal.
"Going in we didn't think we would finish any lower than third. We ran well but Guelph and Western were just too strong," he said.
The teams now pack up for the CIAUs, which will be held in two weeks. Lankins said he expects the clubs from Ontario to once again be a force at the national level.
"Last year, we were third at OUAs and fourth at CIAUs, so that gives a good indication. I think you will see Western, Guelph and Queens all in the top five," he said.
Annen said she was optimistic about the Mustangs chances. "We finished very close to Guelph and if everyone runs their best I think we have a chance to beat them. Victoria also has a strong team. We definitely want to bring home a medal."
On a personal level Annen has her sights set on a top 10 finish. She and her teammates will be hoping nobody can tame the Mustangs in two weeks.