Grapplers grab seventh
By John Dinner
Going into the Canadian University Wrestling Championships, it seemed as though Western's success would lie on the shoulders of Scott Proctor. However, it was the performance of the rest of the Mustang contingent that brought the team success and a seventh-place finish.
"The wrestling of rookies Mitch Dodd, Tom Jackson and sophomore Keith Bannon, also making his first trip to the championships, really pulled us up in overall team points," Western head coach Ray Takahashi said. "We were expecting Scott [Proctor] to medal, which he did, but the other wrestlers really proved themselves."
With all wrestlers placing in the top six, including Western's only female wrestler Belinda Chou, who placed fifth in the women's 64-kilogram weight class, it was a successful championship for all.
Coming into the championship, Proctor was considered to be Western's only serious medal hope, but despite winning the bronze in the 68 kg division, he was not completely satisfied with his performance.
"In the match I lost, the first 30 seconds ended any chance for gold," Proctor said. "Giving up an early 3-0 lead was just too much to come back from. I out-scored him 3-2 the rest of the way but it was not enough to win."
Dodd, who placed fourth in the 52 kg class, saw the championships as a great learning experience for the Western wrestlers particularly himself.
"This year my focus wasn't on the [varsity nationals] but on the national juniors [in two weeks]," Dodd said. "I wanted to have a good season to prepare for the juniors and to build for next year. My goal is to be in the medals for next year."
Other notable results from the championships were Keith Bannon and Tom Jackson, who both placed fourth in the 72 and 76 kg classes respectively, Kyle Chocorlan who was fifth in the 57 kg and Ken Spurvey who finished sixth in the 65 kg class.
As for next season, expectations for the team will be higher with the Mustangs possibly losing only one wrestler to graduation.
"Every year we set our goal as a team to be better than the last," Takahashi said.