Volume 95, Issue 50

Thursday, November 29, 2001
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Every day is a great one for Walter Gretzky

Canada's other cup

Sprinting to track supremacy

Peaks and valleys

Sprinting to track supremacy

Expectations for this year's Western Mustangs track and field team are high, especially on the women's side.

"Our women's squad is the defending Ontario University Athletics champions. It's hard to forecast anything so early in the season, but we should be the team to beat in the OUA and compete nationally," said head coach Vickie Croley.

Kate Forbes will lead a solid group of throwers, competing in the shot put and weight throw. Croley noted Forbes' experience this summer will aid her quest.

"[Forbes] has the potential to finish in the top three in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. She is coming off a Bronze medal in the Pan-Am Juniors," Croley said.

Kate Vermuelen, a strong distance runner, brings experience to the squad. She formerly raced at the University of West Virginia and the University of California Los Angeles.

"[Vermuelen] is struggling through some injuries, but her training has been phenomenal and she will definitely be one of the strongest runners in the country," Croley said.

Filling out the strong women's field will be sprinters Kristen Hodge, Adrian Luca, Abi Tulloch and Jen Bain, distance runners Kate Annen and Jill Gamble and long and triple jumper Melissa Haynes.

According to Croley, the situation on the men's side will be different from last year. "There is a lot more depth this year as opposed to last -–distance events were weak for us," she said. "We're a young team, but we should be one of the top two teams in the province."

Sprinters Bob Westman, Christian Heffernan, Preston Haynes and Mike Gaze should lead a strong 4 x 200 metre team.

Co-captain Chris Williams will once again be prolific in the jumps (long and triple) and 1998 OUA 600 metre champion Alex Pablo has a chance to re-invigorate his university career.

The Mustangs compete this Saturday at Thompson Arena in their season opener.

–Jordan Bell

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Copyright The Gazette 2001