First-half Mustang impressions
Brock badgered by Mustang attack
Raptors' record not up to par
The Western Mustangs' track and field team embarked on their journey to jump higher, run faster and throw further than everyone else in Ontario University Athletics this past weekend at the Western season opener at Thompson Recreation and Athletic Complex.
Head coach Vickie Croley said the early results bode well for the coming season. "For this time of year, these results are extremely promising," she said. "We were also much stronger than in the Purple and White meet the weekend before."
The women garnered seven gold medals: Rebecca Radford in the 1,500 metres, Kate Vermeulen in the 3,000 metres, Melissa Haynes in the triple jump, Kate Forbes in the shot put and Ashley McNeill in the 300 metres, the 4 x 200 relay and the 4 x 400 relay.
McNeill also snagged a bronze medal in the 60 metre hurdles, while Haynes soared to third in the long jump.
The men's team trailed the ladies by only one gold, pulling in six. Receiving the hardware was Gavin McTavish in the 300 metres, Lennie Kwan in the 600 metres, Chris Smith in the 1500 metres, the 4 x 200 relay team and the 4 x 400 relay team.
Rounding out the gold medal tally was co-captain Chris Williams who used rabbit springs to jump his way to gold in the long and triple jumps.
'A sound thrashing'
It isn't often a university comes home with both first and second place after a tournament.
This past weekend, Western's Varsity and X-Team cheerleading squads travelled to McMaster for the Canadian Nationals and came away with the Varsity team placing first and the X-Team placing second.
Head coach Dave Tracey was thrilled with the execution of both teams.
"In a performance-based event, it is almost unheard of to pull off a perfectly flawless routine and the varsity team did it in both of their programs," he said.
The surprise of the competition though was the X-Team (all "ex"-cheerleaders), made up of an intensely selected group of twenty-one former varsity or high-school cheerleaders, who beat every other co-ed team in the country.
The varsity team now prepares for United States Nationals where they finished fourth out of almost three hundred teams last year. In the mean time, it is undecided whether the success of the X-team will be cause enough to keep them together for other events in the U.S..