Volume 92, Issue 93
Wednesday, March 24, 1999
Waters quietly captures golden reward
BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL. Western's Belinda Chou wrestled to bronze at the national junior championships while teammate Jamie Waters pinned down the gold medal.
By Ian Ross
Jamie Waters may not have a loud bark but she certainly has a mean bite.
The soft-spoken first-year Western varsity wrestler took her skills to the Canadian Junior National Championship in Fredricton, New Brunswick on the weekend and brought home a gold medal for the 90 kg weight class.
"There were a lot of good wrestlers from all over the country there," Waters said. "It was really nerve wracking."
A champion in the 80 kg juvenile division last year, the 18-year-old social science student pinned Anne Marie Hounsell of New Brunswick for her second straight national title.
Western head coach Ray Takahashi refused to take credit for the young superstar's raw talent and understanding of the sport. Instead, Takahashi pointed to Waters' early training ground. "In Calgary they have the best women's wrestlers in the country. She came to Western with a good technical base," he said.
One of the keys to victory for Waters is silence. She prepares for each match with heavy concentration and visual cues. "I don't talk to anyone before competition. I tend to just stick to myself," Waters said.
This is not to say Waters has all the answers. One person she does turn to for advice during training sessions is Mustang second-year captain Belinda Chou. Chou also made the journey out East and returned with a bronze medal in the 54 kg class.
Waters and Chou travelled under the banner of the London Amateur Wrestling and Athletic Club. They were joined by Julie Csiki (54 kg), Ruth Frei (63 kg) and Western men's team member Ray Dumont. The teenage squad placed fifth overall at the national competition with five Mustangs and one London native competitor.
"Winning this thing is tough and is just an easy way of measuring success," Takahaski said. "For our young women's team this trip was about facing good competition. They can now see where they stand against national competition."
Takahashi said he felt strongly the Mustang team must continue to train and compete outside of the varsity season. "In wrestling the top universities compete in open events in order to stay competitive. Everyone is doing it so we have to too," he said.
Dave Mair, head coach of the McMaster Marauders, said the experience gave all young wrestlers, including his own, a chance to face fresh competition from community colleges and high schools, while expanding their skills on the mat.
The Calgary wrestling club won the meet with several Calgary Dinosaurs' wrestlers on the roster.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999