Volume 94, Issue 88

Thursday, March 8, 2001


Season ends with loss

Making tracks to CIAUs

The future of sports as we know it

Swimmer an emblem of dedication

Wrestler closes out career on the mats on top

Swimmer an emblem of dedication

By Kasia Sarnecki
Gazette Writer

He's the "Vince Carter of the Ontario University Athletics!" said Western's swim team captain Andrew Munroe.

The man in question is Matt Wood, a second-year mechanical engineering student at Western, said his greatest accomplishment so far has been making it to the Olympic trials last year, where he placed 32nd.

This is Wood's second year as a member of the Western swim team, but his swimming career started much earlier in his hometown of Chatham, Ontario.

Wood started taking swimming seriously at age 10 when he began competing for his club team. "I have always loved the water."

Munroe said that Wood is very consistent with his feelings about the sport. "He is always inquiring and reflecting on new ways to improve himself."

This attribute has been demonstrated through his commitment to swimming. Even during his time off, Wood continues his commitment to his sport, according to head coach Glen Belfry. "Training camps have led to really improving his strength and conditioning," Belfry said.

Coming to Western was a last minute decision for Wood. The swim team and his program have led him to love the school today. He swam with his club team in Chatham, Ontario where he began perfecting his 50m free-style. Upon arriving in London, he said he was not sure what to expect. He said he was told University swimming was more laid back than club swimming.

"Everyone here is still very serious about meets and wants to do well. It has been a pleasant surprise that everyone is really serious about it," Wood said.

The team's camaraderie has led to a strong year for the Mustangs this season. "Wood's genuineness is golden, and he is an all around good guy," said Munro.

"Everyone is very team oriented. I've learned things being on a team that I couldn't have learned alone." To prepare for swim meets Wood said he visualizes what is going to happen and tries to get excited.

Wood said his favourite stoke is the 50 meter free-style, something Munroe said is evident in his accomplishments. "Wood is undefeated in the 50 meter free-style this year and is heavily favoured to win at OUA's," Munroe said.

Wood said he is enjoying every minute here at Western. Being in mechanical engineering, he juggles many projects, but the work ethic he has gained from swimming helps. "The program is really challenging, but I love the school."

As for future plans, the road still seems open. "I can't see myself keeping this pace up. It is a lot of training and once in the work field there obviously has to be more time allocated to that. But hopefully I will keep in the sport somehow – volunteering or coaching because I love the sport."

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