There's gold in them there birdies
Skating to the sixth symphony
Warriors can't solve the Mustangs' defence
One win away from clinching first
Wrestling for gold
Clark and Wood swim for silver at OUA finals
Wrestling for gold
By Wes Brown
The Ontario University Athletic wrestling finals took place in the squared circles of Brock University and despite missing the podiums, Western's men's and women's teams had some great individual showings.
The men placed fourth behind Brock, Lakehead University and the University of Guelph. Standouts included Mitch Dodd in the 57 kilogram category and Rob MacDonald in the heavyweights who each captured gold in their respective weight classes.
On the women's side, the team tied for fifth place with the University of Toronto. Lakehead placed first, while Brock and Guelph rounded out the team podium. At 61 kilograms, Belinda Chou won individual gold for her third OUA crown.
Going into the finals, Mustang head coach Ray Takahashi said he knew the other teams were strong, but added he was not upset with the end result.
"We scored more points this year than last year and last year we ended up second overall in the teams. That just shows the level of competition," he said. "When you don't win the overall teams you're a little disappointed, but I can't complain based on how well the individuals did in this competition."
Takahashi said he walked into the match with nine wrestlers and walked out with six qualifiers for the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union finals, which Western will host Feb. 25 to 27. He said the team still has to stay sharp and remain strong for the nationals.
"We don't know too many of the wrestlers coming in from Western Canada, but our wrestlers are confident in their abilities. It also doesn't hurt that [the finals] will be held here at Western."
CIAU qualifier Dodd said both the men and the women who took part in the weekend, wrestled well.
"I was impressed with the way [captain] Keith Bannon wrestled this weekend and it was unfortunate he couldn't [qualify]. We had some tough draws all around," he said. "As for the CIs, I have the potential to do well. It's been my goal all year to win. I never mind a little tough competition, it only makes you wrestle better."
Brock head coach and OUA final co-ordinator Richard DesChatelets said he thought Western had a good chance at taking fourth coming into the competition and wasn't surprised at how finished.
"Western was there and they are definitely tough. They could have an even better CIs based on how the wrestlers that qualified do," he said.
"MacDonald could do some damage at the heavyweight and both Belinda and Mitch are going to have their hands full but could still pull it off."