of speed haunt Canadian track and field
By Ryan Hickman
The brethren of speed
at Western has bolted out of the blocks this year.
Jeff Rae (pictured left) and Deon Crawley have both geared themselves
in different directions to be a part of this year's Mustangs men's track
and field team, but the two are both cranking it up as new additions for
Rae is the Windsor native and rookie who runs the 60 metre like he was
just stuffed into the barrel of a shotgun and blasted out to murder the
finish line. Crawley is the veteran, with sprint range from the 60 all
the way up to the 600m, who has rejoined the team after a year hiatus,
polishing up his academics.
Both Crawley and Rae have had to make transitions coming to the team
one from a year off the competitive track circuit and the other into the
whirlwind lifestyle of first-year on a varsity sports team.
Rae also fires around the oval in the 300m race and was the lead sprinter
on the 4x400m relay team that put up a Canadian Interuniversity Sport
standard time this past weekend at the Don Wright Meet at Western, giving
the relay team a free pass to the Nationals.
Rae has a very relaxed and fluid running style and can never be misplaced
on the track because of the long, whipping, brown hair that follows behind
him like curtains being blown back from an open window.
"I used to have really short hair, but I was just tired of getting
it cut," Rae said concerning his locks, which fall over his ears
when he's standing still. "I get a lot of heckling to get it cut.
I've just had too many bad hair cuts."
It wasn't the hair that created the buzz around Rae this past weekend
at the meet, but rather his slingshot speed, especially in the 60m, which
he won with a time of under seven seconds. The performance placed him
as the number one-ranked speed merchant in the nation.
"He is a really laid back guy," said Western head coach Catherine
Bond-Mills of her new horse in the Mustangs' sprint stable. "But
he has a great work ethic and a rational work ethic. He doesn't go overboard
or go crazy, but quietly does his workouts and is a leader."
"I have been very impressed with him. He's been at the top of workouts
and is already a key player on our team coming in as a rookie," Crawley
said about his teammate. "My first year, I was just coming in and
spinning my wheels, but it's a long season and you have to moderate that."
Crawley said harnessing the natural tendency to run like hell all year
long has come from the maturity he has obtained this year, of which Rae
has already grasped.
According to Bond-Mills, along with experience, Crawley also possesses
a lot of potential, and is the consummate role player, with his flexibility
Crawley, who has tightly groomed hair and a loping jaunt around the track,
can identify with Rae's transition process after his year off the varsity
team and the commitment to the intertwining of academics and athletics.
"It's all time management," Crawley said. "It's tough throughout
the year, with training and weights. It takes a toll on you with the long
Bond-Mills explains that Crawley had to be driven in order to come back
to the team and thrive like he has after a year of running on his own.
"It's difficult to come back into a structured system," Bond-Mills
said. "Physically, he came in and was in a position to jump into
Crawley, a London high school graduate, also spent the holiday break at
home, working a lot on his running, instead of joining some of his other
teammates, including Rae, to train in Orlando.