Reaching the highest height
Wrestling fever hits hard
Queen's able to squeak by Western
Western silences Thunderwolves
The uphill battle is just beginning
Wrestling fever hits hard
By Sean Maraj
They came to Western from all over Canada last weekend, to grapple against each other in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union wrestling championships.
The wrestling tournament saw several teams vying for the championship finish. But after all the holds and pins, Brock University took the men's title and the University of Calgary walked away with the women's victory. The Mustangs finished a strong eighth in the men's category and managed a solid seventh in the women's.
The home team was buoyed by strong performances by Mitch Dodd, who finished with the bronze medal in the 57 kg category and Belinda Chou, who finished with the silver in the 61 kg category.
"Mitch and Belinda were ranked before the tournament and they did well. Rachel [Dean] wasn't ranked and she finished third [in the 53 kg category]. I thought she had a good tournament," Western head coach Ray Takahashi said about Western's tournament highs.
He added his team suffered from last minute injuries, which contributed to their final placing. However, he said overall, his team put in a strong effort making him happy with the results.
"We had some unfortunate breaks. Rob McDonald got injured with his knee and Jamie Waters fractured her knee. But I was pleased with the effort and I was happy we ran a pretty good championship," he said. "It was really nice to see the athletic department come out and put it all together."
Western wrestler Christian Perera said he was pleased with his team's performance, but pointed out they would have finished stronger if Western had qualified more wrestlers earlier in the season. "We did pretty good. We would have done better if we had qualified more guys at the OUAs," he said.
Guelph head coach Doug Cox, whose team finished sixth in the men's category and fourth in the women's class, said he had hoped for a higher showing. "We did okay, we were hoping to finish fourth in the men's category going into the tournament we thought it was do-able," he said.
As for the competition at the tournament, Cox said the OUA performed well, considering many of the OUA teams dominated the CIAU top 10. Cox also warned of the next few years, in which stronger teams developing in the West could change the level of OUA competition.
"Calgary has a hell of a program, I think they're going to win it in the future and they'll keep it for a few years after that," he said.
Takahashi, however, wasn't as pessimistic and said he saw the OUA as being a major force in wrestling's future.
"Brock won the title, we knew the OUA conference was pretty strong. Our conference was good and part of it for us was just being competitive in our conference," he said.