Friends of Track & Field and Cross Country

Western Alumni Ready to Golf for Track and Cross Country Teams

Greg Bowman

This weekend, Western’s Track & Field team will be switching from trying to set personal bests on the track, to setting personal bests on the links with the second annual Friends of Western Track & Field and Cross Country Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held at Pine Knot Golf & Country Club in Dorchester, and will have alumni from the Track & Field and Cross Country teams present to take part in a day of golf, then a dinner which will feature prizes and socializing amongst years of Mustangs’ athletes.

New to the tournament this year is the tournament setup, which features an all-women’s division, an all-men’s, and a mixed tournament. The winning foursome of each division will be awarded a prize at the end of the day.

“We’re just really looking forward to a beautiful day of golf, and weather - we’re due,” said current Mustangs Track & Field Coach, Vickie Croley. She has been the head coach of the team for the past 24 years.

The tournament is running for its second year after Frank Erle started it in 2018. Erle is a Track alumni and currently works as an assistant coach for the Mustangs team. He reached out to many alumni of Track and Field team to try and reconnect some old teammates for a day of reminiscing and leisure.

Mustang legend, Bob Vigars, is also a huge component in the event’s organization. Vigars is formerly the coach of both Western’s Track & Field team and Cross Country teams, giving him another avenue with which to venture.

“It really has taken a lot of effort to find the proper date, the day of the week...Last year we went with a Thursday; this year we tried to attract more teachers to come on the weekend or for those who are out of town, it’s easier for them to come on a Saturday versus a weekday,” explained Croley on what is different this year. This year’s tournament also expects more participants than last year’s.

The event is of course held with the goal of getting some more money to both the Track & Field and Cross Country programs at Western: “it could be used for providing part of our scholarship fund for our athletes or just some equipment costs, or meal allowances,” said Croley on what the money could be used for.

The Mustangs’ Track & Field team had a fantastic season in 2018-19, with their women’s team ending the season on the podium with the third national ranking, and the men’s team finishing fourth in U Sports.

The golf tournament is just one of many events held by the Track and Cross Country teams, with a bi-annual Wall of Champions ceremony taking place next fall, and some high school invitationals going on throughout the summer. Also, there are talks of starting a Women in Sport Leadership Conference for current and future female coaches. High school and university students will be able to hear from successful women coaches in a conference that hopes to inspire more women in leadership in the sporting world. Plans for that event are still in the works but would ideally happen in the spring of 2020.

The Friends of Track & Field and Cross Country Golf Tournament will take place on May 25th from the Pine Knot Golf & Country Club at 1pm. While registration for this year’s event is no longer available, organizers are hoping to hold the tournament again next, anticipating great success at the this year's edition.