Shannon Gerrie snags gold again
By James Grant
the floodgates. Blake Murphy was one of the many Western
cross country runners who blew away the competition at
this weekend’s Mustang Open.
The Western cross country team turned the 2003 Mustang Open
into a textbook case of absolute punishment at Gibbons Park
this past weekend.
Not only did the women and men combine to defeat 15 of their
16 opponents, they also sent a confident message to the rest
of the teams in Ontario.
The women finished first in their side of the meet as Shannon
Gerrie again led the charge. In finishing first this year,
Gerrie successfully defended her 2002 title and set a new meet
record of 13:51 over the four kilometre course.
Cementing the win for the Mustangs were four other runners
who finished in the top ten. They were rookie Jackie Bonisteel
(sixth), Karen Gilbert (seventh), Ashley Korman (eighth) and
rookie Andrea Brouwer (ninth).
"Our rookies really stepped up today. Jackie Bonisteel
had yet another solid performance, indicating she is among
the elite rookies in Canadian Interuniversity Sport this year.
First-year students Andrea Brouwer and Bethany Janzen [who
finished 15th] have come on like runaway locomotives over the
last two weeks and provided a huge boost to the team," said
coach Bob Vigars.
The women took a page from the men's strategy for success
by placing the bulk of their runners together. This was the
10th time the Mustangs have captured the women's title at the
On the men's side, Western finished a commendable second behind
a strong squad from Waterloo in their six kilometre race.
Seventh place finisher Chris D'Esterre led the Mustangs across
the finish line for the first time in his career in a time
True to form, the rest of the team was not far behind as Rob
Berg (eighth), Tim Hain (10th), Blake Murphy (12th) and Elliot
Craig (17th) all finished within 29 seconds of D'Esterre.
This meet marked the 10th time the men's team has finished
second or better at the Mustang Open.
The formula of keeping all his runners together has worked
well for Vigars and he hopes it will come in handy once again
at the Ontario championships in two weeks.
The Ontario University Athletics Championships restricts each
team to only seven runners. Named by the coaching staff to
represent Western in two weeks are Shannon Gerrie, Jackie Bonisteel,
Karen Gilbert, Ashley Korman, Andrea Brouwer, Bethany Janzen
and Shayna Boland. The menÕs team features Rob Berg,
Chris D'Esterre, Tim Hain, Blake Murphy, Scott Nelms, Elliot
Craig and Steve Weiler.
The remaining team members will train with these 14 for the
duration of the season as all team members play significant
roles in their overall success.