Golden Hawks feast on 'Stangs
Forbes forges new Western record
Women control the mats
Women control the mats
For the Western women's wrestling team, it's a good thing fingernails aren't required in wrestling because their last tournament was such a nailbiter, they're lucky they have any fingernails left at all.
With a total of 28 points, Western won the fifteen team Queen's Open Wrestling Tournament by a single point over the Niagara Wrestling Club.
Western head coach Ray Takahashi was happy with the performance of his gold-medal winning team, but said there is still a bit of holiday rust to work through.
"I was pleased overall with how the team came out on top, but we're still a little rusty from such a long break. We lost a lot of close matches and realized we definitely have some work to do, but there's plenty of time until Ontario University Athletics, so it's nothing major to worry about," Takahashi said.
The lady Mustangs took home a gold, two silvers and two bronzes, totalling an impressive five individual medals for the team.
In only her first meet of the season (due to a shoulder injury), Tara Wells won the gold medal in the 57 kg weight class, beating her own teammate, Julie Csiki in the final 7-1.
"Being Tara's first meet, we didn't really know how she'd fair, but placing first makes it pretty obvious she did extremely well," Takahashi said.
Team captain Rachel Dean matched Csiki's silver medal with one of her own, but the loss was a bit of a disappointment for her, Takahashi said.
"Rachel had beaten the same opponent [Niagara Wrestling Club's Lindsay Rushton] in the fall and was looking to do it again. I don't think she had her best tournament but Ruston is a very tough wrestler to go against," he said.
Sarah Gil and Terri McNutt won bronze in each of their respective divisions.
The team has a busy schedule in the upcoming weeks, which Takahashi said is exactly what they need.
"Having several competitions in the next short while will be really good as getting a lot of matches to work on technical and tactical things is what our team needs the most right now. Hopefully this victory will give the team a boost and allow us to increase our confidence going into the next few tournaments."
Strong performance for men without results
The men didn't fare as well as the women, placing out of the medals, but coach Takahashi was not overly concerned with the outcome.
"Not to bring up excuses for them, but a lot of our guys were in really tough weight classes and came very close in many of the matches," he said.
"Obviously, we like to win, which means we're going to need to make some adjustments. Hopefully, a few changes will take us to the next level and there is enough time before OUAs for hard training to make it happen," he added.
Team captain Mark Young lost in a very close, high-scoring bronze-medal match that Takahashi said could have gone either way. The team was also marred by an unfortunate injury to Ayman Ezzeddine in the semifinals.
Both teams travel to Guelph next Saturday to face tough competition from across Canada in the Guelph Open.