Volume 91, Issue 72
Thursday, February 5, 1998
Hurdling back into the spotlight
I COULD RUN A HELL OF A LOT FASTER IF IT WASN'T FOR THESE HURDLES. Injury-free Mustang Maisie Hahn jumped at the chance to finally show her true talents to the nation and is now dominating the women's track scene.
By Justin Klein
Like so many great athletes who have graced Western with their superiority and dominating skills, Maisie Hahn is one of those names that will always be cherished.
Hahn, a third-year biology major, has given all she has to the Western Mustangs in the last three years and did not surprise her coach or teammates when she became the number-one ranked competitor in the nation at the 60-metre hurdles this year.
Her high school résumé is impeccable. Yet, winning gold at OFSAA in the 100-metre hurdles was not enough for Hahn and in 1995, she decided she wanted to represent Canada in the Pan American games. Her wish came true as she won the silver medal in pre-meet qualifying for the games and then proceeded to make some noise representing her country with an impressive bronze medal.
Unfortunately, Hahn's first season at Western was not one to remember. Plagued with back spasms, she was unable to participate for most of the season. However, with a little luck, Hahn was able to compete in enough events to qualify for the Ontario championships and managed to finish a modest fourth before once again being sidelined for the Canadian championships. "Most of my first season was sitting on the sidelines and cheering for my team," Hahn said.
Hahn's back improved slightly in her second season with the Mustangs, allowing her to compete in most of the 60-metre hurdle events. She repeated her appearance at the OUAs, but this time she took home the bronze medal. Hahn also felt healthy enough to compete in her first CIAU championships and hurdled her way to a fifth-place honour.
In her third year with the team, Hahn has become too valuable an asset to only race in the 60-metre hurdle event. Vickie Croley, the women's head coach, had suggested early in the season that Hahn should compete in both the 4x200-metre relay event and the 60-metre sprint in addition to her speciality event. Eager to improve and impress, Hahn has excelled with her new workload, becoming the leader of the relay team with the fastest time on the squad.
"This has been my first year free of my back," Hahn said. "I hope it continues this way as I am really excited to compete."
Hahn has not only gone undefeated in the 60-metre hurdles, but has also had a hand in helping her teammates to improve as well.
"Valerie Moran had her best time of the season [Saturday] in Detroit," Croley said. "When she finished the race, she could only thank Maisie for this accomplishment."
Although not the captain of the women's track and field team this year, Hahn sure acts like one from the viewpoint of her teammates.
Teammate Moran said Hahn is a leader on and off the track and her positive feedback and encouragement has led the team to great new heights.
"Maisie brightens each and every practice," Moran added. "Not only is it a delight to go to practice because of her, but she also is someone that we all look up to."
Hahn leads the team to Windsor next weekend, where she hopes to extend her flawless season in the hurdles.
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