The Western Mustangs athletic program is one of Canada's best.
Producing perennial contenders and elite-level athletes, Western boasts a rich sporting tradition that rivals any school in the nation. Since 2000, Western has had six Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships from five teams.
Here is a list of the five most recent Mustangs CIS championship teams.
2015 Women's Hockey
After losing only one regulation game all season long, the Mustangs defeated the Guelph Gryphons in the Ontario University Athletics championship game, securing their spot in the CIS championship tournament in Calgary.
In the CIS tournament, the Mustangs defeated the Moncton Aigles Bleu 3–1 in the quarterfinals and the Montreal Carabins 2–0 in the semifinals to set up a meeting in the championship game with the defending champion McGill Martlets. The Mustangs defeated the Martlets in the finals to win the first national title in program history.
The Mustangs were led to the title by goaltender Kelly Campbell, who only allowed one goal on 94 shots to earn tournament MVP honours.
2012 Men's Track and Field
The Mustangs entered the final day of competition in fifth place overall, but rallied to win the first CIS national title in program history. Former Gazette volunteer Scott Leitch led the Mustangs to the championship, winning gold in the 600-metre run and anchoring the gold-medal winning 4x800-metre relay.
Other top performers included Matt Brisson, who won the silver in the 60-metre hurdles, and Drew Welch, who earned a silver in the shot put.
2004 and 2005 Women's Rugby
Coming into the 2004 CIS women's rugby national championships, the Alberta Pandas had won five straight national crowns. That streak was ended by the Western Mustangs, winning the first national title in program history behind tournament MVP Sarah DeLeeuw.
The Mustangs returned to the national championship game in 2005, where they faced off against Alberta again. On the strength of a 22–0 victory, Western captured its second straight CIS title, allowing only 10 points in the entire tournament.
2002 Men's Hockey
The Mustangs were the first men's hockey team in the CIS since 1983 to go undefeated in the regular season, compiling a record of 22–0–2. Led by CIS rookie of the year Matt Dzieduszycki, who lead the OUA in scoring with 44 points in 23 games, the squad went all the way to the CIS national championship game.
Facing off against the University of Quebec-Trois Rivieres Patriotes in the finals, the Mustangs prevailed 4–3, earning their first CIS national title in program history. Head coach Clarke Singer earned CIS coach of the year honours for his team's spectacular season.
2001-02 Women's Track and Field
Led by long distance runner Kate Vermeulen, who ran the 600, 1,000 and 1,500 metres, and Kate Forbes, a shot put and weight throw star, the Western Mustangs women's track and field squad won the CIS national championship.
It was the fourth national title in program history, and the first since 1983.