Western women win
Nine go to CIAU meet in Guelph
What makes an athlete?
Western women win
By Ryan Dixon
It was all Western and Windsor at the Ontario University Athletics track and field championships last Saturday.
The Lancers clipped Western for top spot on the men's side, while the lady Mustangs were the cream of the crop leaving the rest of the field in the dust.
"We did the best we possibly could have done on both sides," said Western head coach, Vickie Croley, who was very pleased with her team's results.
The Western women ended up with 172.5 points on the day, over 60 more than Windsor, their nearest competitor. The ladies brought home 13 medals in total, including four gold.
Jessica Zelinka led the way with first place finishes in both the 60m and 300m hurdles, as well as being a member of the gold medal wining 4x200m relay team. Caitlin Wright was the other top finisher with a victory in the triple jump.
Croley said despite her team's top ranking coming into the meet, nothing was taken for granted. "You can be seeded number one coming in, but that doesn't really mean a lot because anything can happen once the meet starts."
While she was not doing a great deal of scoreboard watching at first, Croley said she had a solid idea where her women stood.
"As the day went on I knew we were getting some good results. About half and hour before the end of the meet I look [at the points total] and thought wow, we're pretty far ahead," she said.
Women's co-captain, Andrea Zelinka, said many athletes rose to the occasion, aided in large part by a strong support group.
"I think every meet you go to you hope to have the best possible performance. A lot of people stepped it up, both guys and girls. I think a big thing was the support we had. There were people cheering each other on and that helps a lot," Zelinka said.
The Mustang men were no slouches on the day either. Tommy Adamson won gold in the 60m, Chris Robinson took top honours in the triple jump and Keith Swyer won the 60m hurdles.
In all Western's men laid claim to 14 medals in a second place finish. Captain Chris Williams said the Mustangs reached their premium performance level.
"We had season's best and personal best all across the board. Everyone did a terrific job. Windsor performed very well, but we tried our best, gave 100 per cent and I'm very proud of how everyone performed," Williams said.
Croley said she agreed with the captain's comments. "Windsor had a great meet, so it wasn't a disappointment at all. We actually overachieved at this meet."
Croley also said Williams was not only a leader performance-wise, with a bronze in the triple jump on this day, but he also ignited the team with his emotion.
"[Williams] really elevated the competition by his energy. He must have been exhausted by the end of the meet because he was just so pumped. It really worked to his advantage," Croley said.
Williams admitted he was giving it his all and them some, not only at this event but all season long. "I wanted to perform very well for the team and myself. There was a lot I wanted to accomplish this year and I think I did most of it," he said.
The Mustangs will try to accomplish even more when they travel to Sherbrooke, Québec for the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union championships in two weeks time.