Cross country success
Mustangs gaining momentum
By James Grant
The 29th Annual Western International Cross Country Invitational
went off without a hitch this past Saturday at Thames Valley
This year's event featured seven of the top 10 women's teams
in Canada, as well as four of the top 10 men's squads. To make
it truly an international event, four American schools were
in attendance as well.
The Western women took to the 5 km course early in the morning
and showed once again they are a force to be reckoned with.
It turned out to be the closest finish in the history of the
event as the home squad fell by only one point to the Canadian
Interuniversity Sport number one ranked squad from Queen's
"We are blessed with great depth and even greater team spirit.
After some disruptions to the team this past week, our women
ran with courage and conviction," said head coach Bob Vigars. "Not
everyone had a good race, but for those that fell a bit short
of what they had hoped to accomplish in this race, others stepped
up to help the team maintain its high ranking."
Team captain Shannon Gerrie led the charge again for the Mustangs
with a third place finish. She beat her previous best time
at the event by one minute. Other prominent runners were Karen
Gilbert (14th), Jackie Bonisteel (15th), Ashley Korman (16th)
and Andrea Brouwer (30th).
This event proved the Mustangs are going to be a huge problem
for teams throughout the country. They will look to pick up
that one point and more against Queen's at the CIS Championships
in Moncton this November.
Meanwhile, the Windsor Lancers cruised to victory on the men's
side by 16 points over their closest competitors from Central
Michigan. They are by far the team to beat in Canada this season.
The Mustang men finished sixth overall but accomplished their
goal of a top three result in their conference. They scored
behind only Windsor and Guelph and gave the team something
positive to take out of the weekend.
The Mustangs also followed their game plan and packed all
five of their top runners into less than a minute of each other.
"Similar to our women's team today, the men did not fire on
all cylinders, but gutted it out with great resolve to garner
an overall performance that will lend positive momentum to
the season," Vigars said.
The top five Mustangs were Tim Hain (23rd), Chris D'Esterre
(31st), Scott Nelms (35th), Rob Berg (39th) and Blake Murphy
This year marked the 18th year the Western International was
held at the Thames Valley Golf Course.
The next event for the teams will be on Oct. 4 when they travel
to Chicago for the Loyola of Chicago Lakefront Invitational.
It should be a welcome test for the Mustangs while also allowing
them to see some new competition before returning to the Canadian