Volume 93, Issue 38

Friday, November 5, 1999


Preparing to plow over Warriors

Two words - wrestling rocks

NCAA could learn a lesson from the CIAU

Two words - wrestling rocks

©Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE? Belinda Chou and the wrestling team are ready to grapple with their opponents at the Ontario University Athletics competition.

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

It's time to hit the squared circle, as Western's wrestling teams prepare to grapple with their opposition.

The men's team was Ontario University Athletics runners up last season and placed seventh at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic University championships. Last year, the women's team finished third and sixth at the OUAs and CIAUs respectively.

Western wrestling men's and women's head coach Ray Takahashi said his teams have been training for over a month and are almost ready for the this Sunday's McMaster Invitational tournament.

"It's going to be a tough tournament. It is used as a national point tournament, opened to the best wrestlers across the country, not just universities. It's hard to say how we'll do but I think we'll do well," Takahashi said.

The wrestling season lasts well into February and Takahashi said the early tournaments are useful, as the athletes can get some matches under their belts and see what they need to improve on.

"We have a strong team that is working hard and I'm really pleased with how everyone's making out," he said. "This season will come down to a lot of things – who prepares the best, who comes up big. We have the ability and know what we have to do – get in shape and train hard."

Men's captain and fourth-year wrestler Keith Bannon said the key to success this season will be making sure everybody on the team raised their expectations.

"Coming in second, last year, was a great achievement and is something that hasn't been done [at Western] in a long time. We're really looking to hold to that as a goal for this year," Bannon said. "We have a good core group and we look solid from a team perspective."

As this year's captain, Bannon said there has been a lot of responsibility added to his role on the team. "I have to keep the guys motivated and keep them interested during the long season. The key will be trying to keep everyone on the same page."

Brock University's head coach, Richard DesChatelets, said his team will not be as strong as last year's OUA and CIAU champions, but was confident they would still be close to the top.

"We have three of the four CIAU champs coming back and one silver medalist returning. Other than that, we have a number of weak weight classes," DesChatelets said.

This weekend's tournament will give DesChatelets a better look at how this year's season will run, however, he said the competition's going to be stiff from the OUA universities, especially Western. "[The University of] Guelph, Lakehead [University] and Western all have some good kids. All three schools are going to be very powerful."

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