Volume 94, Issue 42
Tuesday, November 14, 2000
Runners take bronze at CIAUs
Photo by Geoff Robins
I'D BETTER HURRY, THERE'S ONLY FIVE MINUTES UNTIL THE SIMPSONS!. The Western women got a leg up on the competition at the CIAU championships this weekend.
By Joel Brown
The Western women's cross-country team finished third at the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union championships this weekend at Toronto's Sunnybrook Park.
"It's not too bad," said Western head coach, Bob Vigars. "Of course when you go to compete you're shooting for the top, but on the women's side we knew anything could happen. I'm happy we escaped with a medal."
The squad from the University of Victoria claimed the title, while the Ontario University Athletics champion, Guelph Gryphons came in second.
Both teams were clearly the favourites from the outset and dominated the spots among the top race finishers. UVic won the race with a score of 69 points, 20 ahead of the Gryphons. The gap between the top two finishers was 32 points, as Western finished with a final tally of 121 points.
"I made a good guess coming in that the winner would be close to the highest point total ever and Victoria almost did it," said Guelph head coach, Dave Scott-Thomas. "The team that was going to win was the one with the best fifth runner."
"Guelph and Victoria were just too good." Vigars said. "It's something you try not to admit until you've had the last competition but all you have to do is look at the stats."
Nonetheless Vigars said he was happy with his team's performance and said he was willing to take what he got. "The girls really gave it a go. They couldn't have done any better. Kate [Annen] and Janet [Gamble] made it the second All-Canadian team. We'll take that."
Western runners Gamble and Annen finished side-by-side, placing 12th and 13th respectively to lead the Western squad. "It's a perfect way to end the season," Gamble said.
Sunnybrook brought back memories for Gamble and teammates Shannon Gerrie, Amanda Hornibrook and Becky Martin which also helped to end the season on a high note.
"I love this course," Gamble said. "It's nice that we got to finish on such a high and in a big race. It's where the four of us finished our high school careers."
Vigars was less enthusiastic about the course, which was set largely on an open field and featured a torturous hill that allowed no passing.
"I'd rather it be on another course," he said. "I don't think great cross country courses are on open fields, even though it may have been better for the spectators. If it were based on my own personal bias, I like golf courses where you wind in and out of trees."
Vigars was also upset with the lack of organizations that occurred at the end of the women's race. "The women's finish line operation was not done as well as it could have been," Vigars said. "There could have been potential problems for the teams who finished in the lower ends."
The men's race featured only one Western runner since Vigars declined to send a men's team, as they did not finish in the top three at the OUA championships. Jason Eddy was given the opportunity to run in the nationals because of his standout performances during the regular season.
Coming into the race, Eddy's goal was to finish in the top 20 and he achieved it with a 19th place finish. However, he thought he was capable of running a better race. "I have mixed feelings about [his race]," Eddy said. "During the race I was down on myself until I started passing guys. It gave me a real emotional boost."
Vigars said the race was one of Eddy's best this year. "He finished 11th the OUA's then finished 19th here. Considering that he actually beat a lot of the guys who beat him there, I think it was a great improvement."
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