Volume 96, Issue 88
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

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Krynen vaults to silver

By Ryan Hickman
Gazette Staff

Lennie Kwan/Gazette
 

The Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships proved to be an emotional end to a Western women's track and field team that had overachieved this year, even under the crunch of great expectations.

On the heels of a stunning win at the Ontario University Athletics Championships two weeks ago, Western entered the St. Denis Centre in Windsor as, not only Ontario champs, but the defending CIS champions, so you might think their sixth place finish at the meet was a disappointment – it wasn't.

"There's no disappointment," said Western head coach Catherine Bond-Mills, regarding her Mustangs, who finished well behind the overwhelming champion, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. "The entire field this weekend stepped up and we all improved with that. There were so many personal bests and seasonal bests."

"We knew coming in we weren't as good as last year," said fourth-year pole vaulter Tanya Krynen. "For a lot of us it was our last meet and we just wanted to go out strong; but it is very emotional – I can't believe it's over."

Krynen was the weekend's top performer for the lady Mustangs, with a silver medal in the pole vault. She came into the weekend ranked second in the country, but pulled out a personal best after being pushed by a very strong field of jumpers.

"She jumped well at heights she hadn't seen before," Bond-Mills said about Krynen's high-wire act over the high bar. "She had no real competition until today and she was put on a bigger pole, which is really hard to do in pole vault."

The future of Western's women's track and field team was showcased this past weekend when first-year jumper Alanna Boudreau medalled in the triple jump with bronze.

"I knew I had the potential to medal," Boudreau said, concerning her expectations as a first-year athlete approaching the weekend. "I had three jumps that were personal bests."

Boudreau rose to the occasion at the country's premier meet and Bond-Mills thinks her young jumper is just starting to realize her potential.

"She's also a high jumper and long jumper," Bond-Mills said. "She is going to be a key for us in the future."

The other medal for the Western women came from Shannon Gerrie, who garnered a bronze in the 3,000 metre. Gerrie, who is a premier cross-country runner during the fall for Western, also finished eighth in the 1,500m.

Other big performances came from Lindsay Whitehead, in her final meet as high jumper, who leaped 1.70m to finish fourth. Senior captain Ashley McNeill had a great race in the 60m hurdles, finishing just off the medal podium at fourth place.

The women's relays, a squad the Mustangs were really counting on for some points, came up a little short against an extremely fast field. The 4 x 800m team of Shayna Boland, Jill Gamble, Rebecca Radford and Jenn Moskal brought home a fifth place finish, even with a two and half second improvement on their best time of the season.

The 4 x 400m relay squad led for the majority of the race, before handing the baton off to the consistently strong McNeill. She stretched out the lead, but blew her engine in the last 200m, resulting in a fourth place finish.

In the pentathlon, Western had a seventh, eighth and ninth place finish with Shayna Aubry, Alison Cross and Dana Clifford. All three of them were chasing down former Mustang and London native Jessica Zelinka, who broke her own CIS pentathlon record and scooped up the co-female Athlete of the Meet award while competing for the University of Calgary.

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2002 THE GAZETTE