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Bisons gets boost

The University of Manitoba Bisons track and field program just landed a big-time recruit -- former Olympic head coach Alex Gardiner will join the team's coaching staff for the 2013-14 season.

A Bison alumnus, the 63-year-old Gardiner was Canada's head coach at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and a past Bisons coach from 1984-92. He'll serve as a speed-power coach this season and will start on a part-time basis this August.

In London, Canada completed its best performance in athletics since the 1992 Games. A Winnipeg native, Gardiner was also the head coach for the Canadian team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and was part of three more Olympics -- 2008 Beijing Summer Games, 2006 Torino Winter Games and 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.

During his days with the Bisons, Gardiner helped guide the program to six overall men's CIS national championships.

Saunders wins title

Winnipeg's Jennifer Saunders, already one of the most-decorated racquetball players in this country, has added another title to her resum©.

Saunders teamed with Jos©e Grand'MaÆtre of Longueuil, Que., to repeat as women's doubles champions at the 2013 Canadian Racquetball Championships in Langley, B.C.

The victory was the 14th for Grand'MaÆtre and ninth for Saunders, who will now focus on chasing the women's singles open title. She's in the quarter-finals Thursday night.

High school stars

Madison Hutchinson of the Nellie McClung Stingers fastball team in Manitou is the latest Tri-Star rural high school athlete of the week.

The Stingers pitcher led her club to a perfect 5-0 record and the championship of the Garden Valley Tournament in Winkler. Hutchinson pitched four complete games, including the tournament final.

Jan Salceda of the Sisler Spartans badminton team is this week's Home Run Sports urban high school athlete of the week. Salceda, along with his partner Patricia Salceda, went undefeated at the MHSAA Provincial Badminton Championships, winning gold in mixed doubles.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 23, 2013 D4

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