Volume 91, Issue 54
Wednesday, December 3, 1997
Mustangs run away with first meet
BOY AM I EVER GLAD I GOT MY ROCKET BOOSTER FIXED. Mustang sprinter Jason Stern bolts to the finish in one of his two golden moments on Saturday. Stern came away with a surprise 60-metre victory and was also a member of the 4x200-metre relay winners.
By Vanessa Piccinin
The Western Mustang track team jump-started the preseason by winning the Western Open on Saturday at Thompson Arena.
Although neither of Western's female captains were able to compete, the women's team still managed to win seven gold, six silver and four bronze for a total of 17 medals. Co-captain Kristina Farr, last year's CIAU champ in the 600-metre decided not to compete in order to maintain her status as Western's top female cross-country runner. Fellow squad leader, Aiisha Huggins was also unable to compete because of an injury.
Without a full team roster competing for Western, younger high school runners from the London-Western Track Club in particular, Victoria Bendle and Andrea Black, who competed on the same relay team last year at the Canadian Legion Championships.
The two women cleared the medals in both the pole vault and shot-put and attained first and second in the high jump and triple jump respectively.
Leading the team was Allison Innes, who won gold in the 60-metre and silver in both the high jump and as a member of the 4x200-metre relay. Innes, a sophomore, placed fourth in Ontario last season for the 60-metre as a rookie.
"Based on her performance, particularly in the 60 and the 4x200, Innes is a contender at the OUs," head coach Vicki Crowley said.
Mary Ann Phillips, last year's CIAU champion, defended her meet title by winning gold in shot-put. Phillips suffered a major injury last summer while training for the Summer Games, forcing her to compete with a knee brace. As a result, she has lost some muscle mass in her quads and is unable to do as much speed work.
"She isn't as confident as she was last season but hopefully with her experience she can improve," Croley adds.
Another notable performance is Maicie Hayn's second-place finish to former All-Canadian Karyn Humber in the 60-metre hurdles.
The Mustang men also dominated the competition, winning 18 medals eight gold, six silver and four bronze.
Co-captain and last season's runner-up as OUA male athlete of the year, Roland Acheampong won gold in both a 300-metre record breaking performance and as anchor for the 4x400-metre relay.
The throwers also performed well, with first-year team member Dennis Bowerman winning gold in shot-put, after just three weeks of training.
"I wasn't too sure if it would stick, but I've been progressing nicely this season," he said.
Sophomore Jason Stern defeated last year's 60-metre champ, Milton Hart, with a personal best time of 6.93.
Competition resumes on Jan. 10 when the Mustangs host the Annual Don Wright Team Challenge.
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Copyright © The Gazette 1997