Volume 96, Issue 85
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

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Moskal has Silver lining

 
Tom Prince/Gazette
GO JUMP HERE AND WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP THERE. Western coach Catherine Bond-Mills directs Lindsay Whitehead.

It is extremely difficult to live up to the title of National Champions two years in row, but this weekend, the Western women's track and field team will attempt just that.

After finishing first in this season's Ontario University Athletics Championships, Western will travel to Windsor to compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport finals to defend their national title.

Western's performance in the OUAs was an exceptional team effort, but it was also highlighted by individual success. Jen Moskal, a fourth-year education student at Western, won silver medals in the women's 4 x 400m, 4 x 800m, 600m and 1,000m races at last week's provincial meet at York University.

This was the first year that Moskal has competed in so many events, and she admitted the increase has been tiring.

"It's mentally draining," Moskal explained, "but it makes you proud to be able to reach that level of competition."

Western head coach Catherine Bond-Mills points to Moskal's endless work on the track.

"She is a real workhorse for us and is someone that we really rely on," Bond-Mills explained, referring to Moskal's role on the women's team. "She is very well prepared and has her head screwed on straight."

Moskal, who has run the 600m for the last three years and is ranked in the top 5 in Canada in the event, believes that practicing for longer distance races has helped improve her performance in the shorter races and relays.

Like many athletes on the women's track and field team, this will be Moskal's last at the university level. Moskal, who was part of last year's CIS Championship team, is looking forward to representing Western for a final time.

"The atmosphere there is incredible," Moskal said, describing her experience at last year's championships. "It is what you have been working towards all year. It is where everything comes together."

Living up to last year's performance will be a huge challenge for Western, but it is a challenge that the team is eager to face. Despite losing some of last year's superstars, Moskal believes that the depth of this year's team will help them at the Nationals. When asked about her personal goals this weekend, Moskal's statement was reflective of the team's attitude: "I'm not going to leave without a medal."

– Mike Burton

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2002 THE GAZETTE