Volume 95, Issue 78

Wednesday, February 20, 2002
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Western advances to OUA final

Kates making their mark

Sports Briefs

Kates making their mark

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff


Farrah Yip/Gazette
I WONDER WHAT KIND OF FEATHERS THEY USED TO STUFF THE MAT? The Western men and women were hoping for a soft landing at the Western Open, held at Thompson arena on the weekend.

The Olympic motto – "Citius, Altius, Fortius" – swifter, higher, stronger – drives athletes to harness all their energy and will to compete admirably.

The Western Mustang's track and field team followed this message, albeit on a slightly smaller scale in the 2002 Western Open this past weekend at Alumni Hall.

The Mustang women's team captured six gold medals, specifically by Kate Vermuelen (1,000 metres), Kate Forbes (shot put and weight throw), Kelly Goheen (triple jump), Kristen Hodge (60 metre hurdles) and the 4 x 200 metre relay team.

Once again the two Kates – Vermuelen and Forbes – were completely dominant in their respective events.

"Kate Forbes is the clear favorite in the shot put at both the [Ontario University Athletics] and [Canadian Interuniversity Sport] championships, as well as a solid contender at both meets in the weight throw," Croley said.

"Kate Vermuelen is unbeatable in Ontario in the 1,000 and 1,500 metres and they're definitely her races to win. Her main competition won't come until the CIS championships," she added.

Forbes explained the key to her success is precious time. "I think the downfall in a lot of track and field athletes is they don't take the fall training period seriously. I had a continued season [including a meet in South America] and have been working really hard over the fall and winter."

Records were made to broken, but on the weekend, they were shattered. Forbes broke a 22-year-old meet record in the shot put with a throw of 14.25 metres, while Vermuelen shattered a 24-year-old meet record and a 14-year-old school record in the 1,000 metres with a time of 2:45.11. Vermuelen's time also became the standard bearer in Canada, representing the fastest 1,000 metre time in the nation this season.

On the men's side, the story was slightly different. Unfortunately, two key components, jumper Chris Williams and sprinter Christian Heffernan, are both battling injuries.

Therefore, the men's team was at a disadvantage, yet still pulled out a respectable four medals. Luke Myers (high jump), Scott Cholewa (long jump), Preston Haynes (600 metres) and the 4 x 200 metre relay team rounded out the gold medal tally.

"The men's team is much better than their results have shown. We will need some guys to come up bigger than they ever have before to be successful at OUAs because there are four teams, [Guelph, York, Toronto and Western], all vying for medals behind the definite favorite Windsor," coach Croley said.

Kate Vermuelen could not be reached for comment.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002