Volume 93, Issue 48
Wednesday, November 24, 1999
Smack down second
Gazette file photo
SETTIN' UP FOR THE DODD BOTTOM. Third-year wrestler Mitch Dodd and the rest of the Mustang team slammed their way to a second place finish at last weekend's Brock Invitational.
By Wes Brown
The superstars of wrestling were out in full force on Saturday not on the professional card in Toronto, but at the Brock Invitational in St. Catherines.
The Western Mustangs placed second overall at the meet. Lakehead University was the eventual victor in the tournament, winning a final which pitted two of the Ontario University Athletics' finest programs against each other.
Mustang head coach Ray Takahashi said his team's lineup is solid from top to bottom and if it wasn't for a couple of close matches, things might have ended up with Western in first.
"On paper [Lakehead] beat us badly, but if we had of won one or two of those close matches I think we would have ended up on top," Takahashi said. "Overall, we matched up pretty good with all of the teams there."
Last year, Brock University was head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, winning both the OUA and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union championships. This year, Takahashi said, things are a lot closer between the top schools.
"Lakehead is always a solid team, like us. Brock has always had a good team but it seems as if they always [had] two or three key people that won it for them."
Tom Jackson, in his fourth year as a member of the wrestling team, won gold in the 76 kilogram weight class on the weekend and said he was glad to be back. Jackson is also a member of the gold medal Western men's rugby team, whose championship season recently finished.
"A lot of the other wrestlers have been training since September, so I think I'm a little more fresh then they are," Jackson said about his transition onto the mats. "This tournament was more of a team format, kind of like rugby's team concept."
Brock head coach and tournament convenor Richard DesChatelets said Jackson won a deciding a match which led to Western climbing over Brock for the silver medal. "Ray and his Western team did a very good job of beating us out," he said.
Jackson said his opponent was a silver medalist at last year's CIAUs and credited his assistant coach, Scott Proctor, with helping him define the finer details of his wrestling skills.
"Scott's been showing me some of the things I can work on and things I've been doing wrong, it's all helped," he said. "I definitely wrestled well and capitalized on the mistakes he made in the match."
The competition was tight and DesChatelets said all of the big schools were contenders up until the end of the tournament. "We were in the game [and] Western was in the game, but Lakehead pulled it off in the end," he said. "It came down to the point where one match would have made the difference between [Western and Lakehead]."
Brock was missing two CIAU champions from their lineup, but DesChatelets offered them as no excuse for his team's performance. "This was by far our weakest performance of the season."
Still, DesChatelets felt the competition went well and said he was optimistic about his team's chances this year. "This tournament puts all of [the universities' wrestling programs] in place, but it doesn't mean we're not going to repeat as OUA champs. All this does is make it very interesting for the OUAs."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999