Volume 94, Issue 20
Wednesday, October 4, 2000
Running like the wind in Chicago
By Ryan Dixon
The Western cross country team blew into the windy city on Saturday for one of the largest meets in North America.
The results differed for the men and women. The ladies finished a respectable ninth, out of alarge field of 46 teams. The men's story was not quite so rosy. Due to an injury to Colin Wallace, the men failed to place the necessary five finishers across the line to acquire a team tally.
Naturally, coach Bob Vigars was a little disappointed with how things ended for the men. He said it has been a season-long battle for the men to compete.
"This is a team sport and you need five people to finish. The guys are pretty banged up right now, much more so than the women and I'm not sure why. We still have a ways to go, we need to improve heading into the Ontario University Athletics in four weeks," he said.
Vince Del Monte had the fastest time among Mustang men. Del Monte finished the course in 107th place, ahead of teammate Jason Eddy who came in 128th.
Del Monte said racing against unknown competition can make things tough, because you are never really sure who you are up against.
"When you don't know who you're running against, you have a tendency to give your opponent too much respect. In OUA's you usually know who is passing you and you step it up, but sometimes you back off when you don't know the opposition," he said.
Janet Gamble again led the way on the women's side. Gamble led the Western pack, placing 14th. Vigars said he has come to expect nothing less from Gamble.
"She has been number one all season long, the question is who is going to challenge her. I'd like to see her teammates close the gap Janet is having a career year," Vigars said.
The closest to Gamble was Kate Annen, who ran her way to a 25th place finish. Annen was very pleased with both the teams and her own performance.
"I thought we did really well, considering we were without Shannon Gerrie (the number three runner on the team) and how deep the field was," she said.
Vigars concurred with Annen's assessment, noting that having Gerrie in the line-up would have helped. Even so, Vigars said he was satisfied with the women's results.
"I'm very happy with the top 10 finish. We had two runners record personal bests through five kilometres. Overall, it was a good performance," he said.
This meet attracted schools from all over North America, which made for a huge start line. Annen said it was tough to overcome the crowded start.
"You get pushed around a lot because there are so many people converging at the same point. With so many people around, it is hard to find your own pace," Annen said.
Vigars said the most difficult aspect to this meet was not the course itself, but rather the high level of competition and the number of competitors.
"It's a very fast, flat course on the shore of Lake Michigan. The challenge was the competition, not the course. I think the massive start was a bit intimidating," he said.
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