Bisons' T&F dynasty races into Hall of Fame

Men's track and field team that won 14 conference and national titles earns place in CW history


CALGARY - The University of Manitoba Bisons men’s track and field team (1988-1996) has been inducted into the Canada West Hall of Fame.

The team created a dynasty, earning seven Canada West and CIAU titles in nine years. And they captured most in convincing fashion. The athletes in brown and gold were draped in excellence, creating a winning mentality the club exuded at every meet.

The Bisons won the CW banner in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996. They fell short for second in 1990 and 1993. During their seven-title stretch, they averaged victory by 24 points. At the individual level, 50 athletes earned spots atop the podium, while 64 took home bronzes and silvers.

An incredible 56 Bisons were named Canada West First-Team All-Stars while 24 made the second team in the seven championship seasons.

The athletes left lasting marks on the conference, with 10 individual and team records that endured in the U SPORTS Top Ten for more than 20 years after they were set.

The team was nearly untouchable at the national level, capturing seven CIAU titles over the nine seasons (every year except 1991 and 1993).

The Bisons earned a combined 66 national medals over that span, as they took their championship banners by an average of 17 points over their closest competitors.

The team’s championship seasons churned out 43 First-Team All-Canadian selections and 17 Second-Team picks.

“The Bison teams of the late 80’s to the mid 90’s featured many of the best Bison Track & Field athletes in history. ​ These Championships were won as a team with contributions coming from all event groups: ​ sprints, distance, throws, jumps and relays. ​ A culture of excellence and being part of a family was established through the strong leadership of the two Head Coaches over those years – Alex Gardiner and Bruce Pirnie. ​ Athletes and staff who were part of these teams still to this day have fond memories of competitions and friendships that were forged over those years,” said current Bisons track and field head coach Claude Berube.

The revered Bisons track and field program also earned multiple CW and CIAU Athlete of the Meet and Coach of the Year awards. The dynasty left a perpetual mark on the school, the conference and the world of university athletics.


For the last century, organized university sport has been a central part of the student experience at institutions across Western Canada. Beginning with the University of Manitoba capturing the first Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WCIAU) men's hockey banner in 1919-20, student-athletes have been competing to reach their full potential in sport and the classroom, while enriching campus life. 

To commemorate 100 years of university sport across Western Canada, the Canada West Hall of Fame was created in the spring of 2019. This year's induction class will be unveiled throughout the summer of 2022.


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About Canada West

Since 1972, Canada West (CW) has been a leader in Canadian university sport, working to provide our student-athletes the opportunities to excel in sport, the classroom, and their communities. CW and our 17 members from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba collectively carry on a legacy of competitive excellence, as our champions proudly go on to represent the conference at U SPORTS national championships.

Canada West – training leaders, building champions.