Volume 94, Issue 47
Wednesday, November 22, 2000
Mustang wrestlers hit the mat
Photo by Ray Takahashi
THE AUDIENCE AGREED THE SWAN DIVE WAS A HIT. The wrestling team dove into action on the weeknd in a tournament at the Brock Invitational.
By Ryan Dixon
The men and women of the Western wrestling team boarded buses and headed in different directions this weekend.
The results of each team were also at opposite ends of the spectrum, with the women tasting victory and the men confronting defeat.
The Mustang men traveled to St. Catharines hoping to sharpen their skills against a variety of schools from Canada and the United States. Unfortunately the competition proved too tough. Western failed to qualify for crossover play after losses to Manitoba, McMaster and the host team Brock. All of this amounted to Mustang disappointment, as Western failed to move on to crossover matches.
Western head coach, Ray Takahashi, said he saw positives come out of some personal performances, but the team results left a little to be desired. "We had some good individual results, but in terms of wins and losses we didn't fare well."
One factor in the lacklustre showing by Western was the list of players injured. Mitch Dodd, who excelled at the meet finishing first in the 57 kilogram category, said the Mustangs were a little light on experience.
"We were missing some key veterans for various reasons. The young guys did great filling the void," Dodd said.
Takahashi expanded on the issue of injuries. He said the club could not escape the injury bug even after they arrived at the tournament. "Seth Ross, of the 54 kilogram weight class, got injured the night before and Rob MacDonald had a bad knee and we weren't sure if he was going to be able to wrestle."
MacDonald wrestled well, finishing second in the heavyweight division.
Perhaps the youth laden roster will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Mustangs. Dodd said the chance to hit the mat will serve the young wrestlers well in the future. "Getting out there and wrestling against those quality schools is always good experience."
The lady Mustangs headed to prairie country for a head-to-head duel with the University of Regina Cougars. It went right down the wire with the Mustangs pulling off the victory when Belinda Chow pinned her opponent in the final match for a 15-13 win. Julie Csiki said the win set the Western bench off. "When we got the pin, everybody jumped up, it was awesome."
Csiki said the intimacy of a head-to-head match meant an added element of excitement for the team, which required some extra focus.
"We really had our heads in it. It was very intense because the whole team was watching every match. The support of the team was great," she said.
Assistant coach, Scott Proctor, said he was happy with the way the team through. "I was very pleased with the way all the girls wrestled well to win was an added bonus.
Proctor also said these duel matches are a great experience for the team because it helps the team gel. "I think these events really bring the team together. Their was a very hostile crowd against Western and that always makes the team closer."
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