Western advances to OUA final
Kates making their mark
Fencers foil the competition
Armed with swords, the Western Mustangs fencing team battled their way to a strong performance at the Ontario University Athletics individual and team championships at McMaster University last Saturday.
Mark Masterson showed his mettle in the men's sabre event, snagging the silver medal.
"The OUA East [division] is traditionally stronger than the OUA West in fencing," said men's fencer Derek Rhodenizer. "But Mark came through, pulling off some big upsets against contenders from the East."
The squad sent a talent-laden lineup to the championships. "All six of our teams, which consists of three men's and women's teams, made it to OUA's. Only three teams out of the 11 in the OUA sent all their teams."
The men's sabre team (Masterson, Rhodenizer, Paul Simms and Dennis Mann) came away with another silver medal, Gregory Cutten and Kara Keiley notched top eight finishes in the men's and women's épée respectively and Rhodenizer claimed a solid fourth in the men's épée.
In addition, Simms capped off his lengthy career winning the Tulley Award, given to the athlete who exhibits the best combination of sportsmanship and skill.
The fencing season has come to its conclusion and, in hindsight, Rhodenizer couldn't be more pleased with the results. "On the whole we had an extremely successful season. The men's sabre team obtained a gold and three silvers and we had a lot of top five showings."
Mustangs leave it on the mat
Without all your chips on the table, it's pretty hard to win the big prize.
That said, the incomplete Western women wrestlers just didn't have enough to come out on top but a strong effort from every athlete was enough to win the overall bronze medal, at the Ontario University Athletics wrestling championships at Brock University.
Western was void in the 77 kg. weight class, which could have quite possibly generated one more point to make the difference between bronze and silver.
"Unfortunately one of our wrestlers couldn't attend the meet and it especially hurt us as earlier in the year, she had beaten one of the eventual medalists," said Western head coach Ray Takahashi.
Four highlight Mustang performances came from Tara Wells, Rachel Dean, Meg McGuire and Sarah Gil who all reached the podium earned a trip to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships.
Wells and Dean won silver medals and McGuire and Gil took home a bronze each.
"Rachel is our captain and came through to meet her expectations, whereas Meg beat two people she had lost to earlier in the season. In the [semi-finals], Tara showed a lot of strength coming from behind to force [overtime] and eventually winning to reach the finals," Takahashi said.
"Sarah is the perfect case where results are directly related to hard work. She has put in a lot of effort this year and her performances show the improvements," he added.
The men placed fifth in the OUAs, but Takahashi noted their hard work.
"These guys put their heart and soul out on the mat and sometimes, you just don't get the results you want."