Volume 91, Issue 83

Friday, March 6, 1998

100 bottles of beer


Western pins hopes on Proctor

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
YA KNOW, I DON'T THINK YOU CAN EVER SEE ENOUGH PICTURES OF JENN HAYLOR. Mustangs Kyle Chocorlan and Mitch Dodd took time in practice to debate a hot athletic topic while preparing for the national championships this weekend.

By Lisa Weaver

Gazette Staff

Struggling all year to stay healthy, the Western Mustangs wrestling squad is now mended and ready for this weekend's Canadian championships in St. Catharines at Brock University.

"I think we've peaked at the right time," Western head coach Ray Takahashi said. "We're in great condition, so I'm not worried about that."

Western has had some setbacks this year, in particular with team captain Scott Proctor who was out most of the year due to injuries.

"He's had a difficult year with some injuries and hasn't been able to get into a really good training program," Takahashi said.

However, Western's coach isn't worried about Proctor's performance this weekend. "He's a tough competitor, wrestles smart and is mentally and strategically very good." Proctor finished first last week in the Ontario finals and second overall in last year's CIAU tournament.

Richard Deschatelets, coach of the hosting Brock Badgers, feels that Western has many likely prospects for winning this weekend, but points to the Mustang captain as the athlete to watch. "In my opinion, [Western's] best chance is with Scott Proctor," he said.

Takahashi is not worried about any one team participating in the championship. "All the teams have individual strengths, even the teams that are ranked the lowest. Everyone's got some good individuals."

Besides Proctor, Takahashi also cited Belinda Chou as an athlete with a good chance. Chou is the only female on the team and is coming off a gold medal victory last month at the Ontario University championship. Yet, despite the personal strengths of these two athletes, Takahashi feels that "the team is functioning very well."

Deschatelets agrees, stating that Chou is "a very talented young lady. She could win it." Deschatelets also feels there are other hopefuls for Western's team, including Mitch Dodd. "I think he's going to be in the final against the same individual from the [Ontario finals]," he said.

Takahashi said Western has no formula for success this weekend, but he feels they can do well if they are prepared mentally and they go out and perform the best they can. He also mentions that there are factors which any team can not guard against. "There are things you can't control, such as officiating or the draw," Takahashi explains.

The Mustangs finished sixth at last year's CIAU Championship and were third in Ontario standings this season – both early indicators that this team will have a shot a top-five team finish. With luck, Proctor and Chou as well as Western's other hopefuls, can lead the team higher and further than last season and challenge for the national title.

The event begins today and runs through the weekend at Brock University.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998