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Volume 90, Issue 79

Thursday, February 13, 1997



Guzman finds fighting space on the mat

©Geoff Robins/Gazette

By Kathy Ens
Gazette Staff

Wrestling has always been considered a man's sport. However, Anne Guzman has found her own space on the mat as a Western Mustang wrestler.

Guzman is one of the only two female wrestlers on the Mustang team – the other being Angelina Pun. She only has one year of experience but manages to keep up with girls who have been doing it since high school. Guzman's idea to wrestle came when she and 12 residence girls decided to give the sport a try. However, the number of women slowly diminished to five and then finally down to only her.

A third-year kinesiology student, she wrestles in the 57-kilo weight class – although the weight category varies in different tournaments. Training is hard for everyone including the women – there are no special treatments when it comes to the wrestling team.

"A couple of guys didn't like us taking up mat space at first," she said. "I work just as hard as they do and so it shouldn't be any different. I feel like one of the guys."

"Guzman is treated just the same. She trains just like us and it is not a big deal," Mustang head coach Ray Takahashi said.

Guzman loves playing on the men's team yet she still misses the concept of women's team sport.

"It is not the same as being on a girl's team and I miss that," she said.

She finds the sport a challenge, reward and it keeps her in shape.

"I like it because it is so challenging," she said. "You're testing yourself all the time."

The women's wrestling competition is structured differently than the men's program. Not all universities have women on their teams so it is difficult to have as many matches for the women to compete in. Men must qualify for the national championship from the Ontario finals but all the women travel directly to the CIAUs.

"I've had good tournaments and bad tournaments," she said.

The weight class Guzman is in is with the toughest in Ontario, including Queen's and Toronto.

Theresa Pirotrowski from Toronto looks to be Guzman's toughest opponent this weekend at Alumni Hall in the Ontario finals. Pirotrowski is the defending silver medalist from the Canadian Senior Women's Open and holds a black belt in judo.

"I can see Theresa winning a medal in the final at [the] Ontarios," Peter Brown, Toronto's coach said.

Guzman has a pulled groin but will still be able to wrestle Saturday at the provincial championships.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997