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Star athletes to pay tribute to coach Dennis Fairall

Lancer standouts Melissa Bishop, Missy McCleary and Mike Nolan are among the protegés of Dennis Fairall who will speak to his influence at a February 25 event celebrating the career of the long-time coach.

After 30 years as head coach of UWindsor cross country and track and field, Fairall began a long-term medical leave in October. He led his teams to great success—25 Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships and 46 Ontario University Athletics provincial titles, not to mention individual accomplishments in athletic competition and outside it.

Bishop is an Olympian in the 800m race and while a Lancer, won the 2010 Banner Shield as top female athlete. Her three gold medals at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship meet that year led Windsor to its second straight national team title.

McCleary and Nolan are both members of the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame.

McCleary was a four-time MVP of the Lancer cross country team and led the team to its first-ever CIS title, established Windsor records in the 1500m and 3000m events, and won her own Banner Shield in 1998.

Nolan ranks in the Lancer all-time top 10 in seven track and field events, received the Olympic Shield as top male Lancer athlete in 1997, earned all-Canadian honours twice and was named an OUA all-star four times.

Ticket sales for the tribute event are brisk, reports organizer Mary-Ann Rennie, but there are still some available before the February 19 purchase deadline.

Celebrating Dennis! will feature a cocktail buffet and cash bar. It runs 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, February 25, in the Augustus Ballroom at Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Drive East. Tickets are $35; RSVP at uwindsor.ca/CelebrateDennis or by phoning Rennie at 519-973-7059.