Volume 92, Issue 71

Wednesday, February 3, 1999


Mustangs keep netting wins

Wrestlers peaking at right time

'Stangs squash everyone

Wrestlers peaking at right time

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

Western's mats have not been too forgiving to rookie Julie Csiki this year, but if this weekend's double gold performance is any indication, the young Mustang wrestler is turning it on just in time.

Csiki won gold on Saturday at the Women's Open Wrestling Championship held at Carling Heights Community Centre in London, pinning Guelph Gryphon Amy Tanaka – a member of the Canadian national team – for the 52 kilogram title. Tanaka was last year's national champion.

On Sunday, the Mustang female athlete of the week completed her golden weekend earning another trip to the top spot of the podium, beating Lakehead's Jo Devlin in the 54 kg weight class at the Western Open.

Csiki, a first-year kinesiology student and graduate of Parkside Secondary School in St. Thomas, has been wrestling since Grade 9 and admitted pre-match jitters have plagued her during her entire career.

"I always have butterflies in my stomach before big matches, but if I didn't get them I think something might be wrong," she said.

Although the two gold medals are Csiki's first in her short university career, she still describes her greatest mat achievement as her trip to the Ontario Federation of Student Athletic Association's championships last year. Unfortunately torn ligaments in her left foot forced her to settle for a disappointing fourth place finish.

Csiki's highest university finish had previously been third, but hopes this weekend's performance may turn things around.

"A lot of the girls were saying that Amy [Tanaka] won last year, so beating her really helps my confidence," Csiki said.

Mustang head coach Ray Takahashi said a repeat of this weekend's performance may be difficult for Csiki because many of the other teams will set their line-ups accordingly for the Ontario University Athletics finals.

"The coaches from the other teams will juggle their line-ups which may make it tough for Julie," Takahashi said.

Although this may increase competition for specific individuals, Takahashi said he likes the chances of his young women's team since they have strength in six of the seven weight classes. Brock and Lakehead are Western's two toughest competitors.

Lakehead head coach Francis Clayton said he thinks Csiki's performance is a good indication of things to come in the upcoming weeks.

"She is pretty tough," Clayton said. "This last week is definitely a pretty good indicator. She might not win nationals but she is going to do well."

The women's team placed second as a collective squad at the Provincial Women's Open, bested by Brock 38-32, before winning the Western Open on Sunday, beating Lakehead 45-43.

Some other top women's performances came from rookie Jaime Waters (77 kg) who won two gold medals as well as a silver in the Provincial Open from Belinda Chou (57 kg) and a bronze from Ruth Frei (63kg) in the same event.

On the men's side, Wray Dumont was the top male finisher in the Junior Provincial Open, placing a solid second in the 76 kg weight class.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999