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Lancers hailed as nation’s top track athletes

Canadian Interuniversity Sport recognized a pair of Lancers as the country’s outstanding performers on the track this year, Thursday morning prior to the start of the national championship tournament.

Nicole Sassine, a fifth-year kinesiology student, was named female track athlete of the year. She received a similar honour at the Ontario University Athletics championship after she won gold in the 300m and the 4x200 relay and added silver medals in the 60m hurdles and the 4x400.

“Not only did she score a team-leading 22.5 points to help our women’s team win the OUA banner, but she is a superb team captain and provides great leadership throughout the season,” said Windsor head coach Dennis Fairall.

Matt Walters, a third-year liberal arts major, was named male track athlete of the year. A 2011 OUA all-star in cross country, he went on to earn an award as most outstanding male performer in track events at the OUA meet, where he captured a gold medal and a pair of silvers to help lead the Lancers to a remarkable 14th straight conference banner.

“Matt’s 3:44.92 in the 1,500m earlier this season on Windsor’s track was an incredible performance,” Fairall said. “He leads the nation in that event and has a great chance at gold this weekend.”

The three-day national meet started Thursday at the University of Manitoba’s Max Bell Fieldhouse. Learn more on the championship Web site.

Two other Lancer teams are blazing a path toward their national title challenges this weekend.

The women’s basketball team is in Ottawa for the CIS east regional, looking to earn a berth in the Bronze Baby tournament. Read more on the Lancer Web site.

The men’s hockey team will face the UQTR Patriotes in the OUA bronze medal game Sunday; the winner advances to play for the University Cup. Read a preview at goLancers.ca.