Wrestlers get pinned
By David Adam
The Mustang wrestling team had to cancel its trip to the Queen's Open tournament in Kingston this past weekend because of the inclement weather.
"Everyone was disappointed in the cancellation, everyone wanted to compete," team captain Scott Proctor said. "It was really unfortunate for the rookies because it's a good tournament for them to get their feet wet."
The empty calendar was filled quickly by head coach Ray Takahashi, who on Friday brought the team to an interuniversity training session at Guelph and then had an invitational meet on the weekend at Western. "Queen's is a great tournament but we still had a really positive weekend the guys got a great workout. Training, in some ways, is better than competing because there are more matches and less stress," Takahashi commented.
At the invitational tournament, Western's showing was sub-par, finishing third out of four teams. Silver medals were won by Mustangs Scott Proctor, Mitch Dodd and Neil Harris. Rookie Rob MacDonald brought home a bronze medal in the heavyweight class. "This was our first tournament back after the break and I don't think we should put that much emphasis on it," Proctor said, reacting to the weekend's events. "Guys were disappointed in how they wrestled. I wasn't pleased with my performance, I should have won my last match. This weekend didn't reflect our ability."
Looming large on the Mustang's schedule is the Guelph Open on Jan. 25. Takahaski said the competition in Guelph will be stiff with the presence of National Team members and even Olympians. "The Guelph Open is the toughest domestic tournament next to the Nationals," he said. Proctor confirmed his coach's thoughts, commenting that "Guelph is a higher level of competition, the elite of university wrestling."
One might think the prospects for the boys in purple don't look too good for that weekend but Takahashi and his team are looking forward to the event. Says Takahashi, "It's a great tournament to see where we stand. Obviously we don't expect one our rookies to knock off an Olympian, but Proctor will be trying to knock up a win. He can score on good wrestlers." When asked about the upcoming competition, Proctor responded, "If you want to improve, you have to go up against the best. I personally look forward to it. You have to take something away from the match. Win or lose, the experience is valuable."
The Mustang's upcoming home meets are the Junior Provincial Open on Jan. 31 and the Western Open on Feb. 1.