Volume 96, Issue 85
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

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Men long-sprint to CIS

By Ryan Hickman
Gazette Staff

Lennie Kwan/Gazette
HE'S A BLUR. Western sprinter Christian Heffernan fires into a weekend in Windsor.

The Western men's track and field team will be hitting Windsor's St. Denis Centre like Rice Krispies this weekend – snap, crackle, pop!

The Mustangs men will bring their long-sprint firepower into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport National Championships with the snap of Christian Heffernan, the crackle of Bob Westman and the pop of Deon Crawley.

"We have strong long sprints," said Western head coach Catherine Bond-Mills about not only her top three, but also Gavin McTavish, who teams up with the other three aforementioned runners on the 4 x 200 metres and 4 x 400m relays.

Heffernan is the toned sprinter who doubles as an inside receiver on the football team. He is the lead on both sprint relay teams and is the owner of the second best time in the country for the 300m.

Westman who sports the head band and the monster legs is fourth in the country in the 300m and is second on the two relay teams.

Crawley is spindly and lean and anchors both the 4 x 200m and 4 x 400m relays. He also rounds out the three Mustangs ranked in the top 5 in Canada for the 300m sprint and is confident about this weekend to say the least.

Crawley expects good results from the plethora of speed merchants they possess in the long sprints. "We're thinking gold for everything. Gold in the [4 x 200m]. Gold in the [4 x 400m] and one, two, three in the 300."

Sherbrooke's Ibrahim Meite poses the Western triumvirate's biggest threat in the 300m, but he doesn't intimidate Crawley.

"We will be a lot hungrier," Crawley said, when asked about Meite. "He will get quite the surprise, but we will just be concentrating on ourselves."

The Mustangs men arrive in Windsor as the fifth ranked team in the country, but Bond-Mills has loftier goals.

"Our team goal is to finish in the top 3," Bond-Mills said about her men's team. "We weren't even on the radar last year."

The middle distances are also going well for the Mustangs, if they get the injured Charlie Murphy back in time for this weekend. Murphy, who Bond-Mills expects to run in Windsor, has run a top 5 time in Canada in the 1,500m and is in the top 10 in the 3,000m. Brandon Laan is another Mustang in the top 10 in the 1,500m and has run the third fastest time in the nation for the 1,000m.

Bond-Mills is also excited about the experience some of her young high jumpers will be getting this weekend. Mike Pickell and Mike Bonazza are first-years who are teaming up with Tom Bereza to leap over the high bar, but it will still be the blazers in the long sprints that will have to meet expectations in order for the Mustangs to medal.

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