Volume 96, Issue 70
Tuesday, February 4, 2003

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Stepping on the mat with Western wrestling

By Brian Cox
Gazette Writer

Niru Somayajula/Gazette
THIS NEW FLOOR PADDING IS MUCH SOFTER THAN THE COMPETITION'S. Western's Katie Wilson is either pinning her opponent or getting pinned - we're not sure.

For the uninformed, a wrestling tournament is probably as confusing as watching cricket, high, at 3 a.m. – everyone wears the same outfit, you can never tell who should win and the crowd always cheers when you thought nothing happened.

I gave my brain a workout Saturday, when approximately 20 teams converged on Thames Hall for the Western Open Wrestling Tournament. Perennial powerhouses Brock and Lakehead Universities, local high schoolers and even a few border-crossing Yankees, showed up in one of the season's final tune-ups before the Ontario University Athletics finals in two weeks.

Western head coach Ray Takahashi was intent on his team's technical development over the day-long event.

"We want to do well here and stay healthy," said a focused Takahashi. "We'll be doing some fine-tuning in order to firm up our roster for the upcoming finals."

Other schools seemed intent on a similar strategy. McMaster University head coach Rob Betz lamented over a season fraught with injuries, suggesting it was important his squad rest up for big matches ahead.

"I'm only going with three wrestlers today," Betz said. "I'm trying to keep everybody else healthy."

He later admitted a number of the team's injuries have been self-inflicted, noting, somewhat tongue and cheek, if they were going to get anywhere, ["they would] have to rely on [their] one strength – great coaching."

The stage was set for a morning and afternoon of exciting wrestling action, how do you report on 300 separate matches? An indecipherable draw and my complete and utter lack of understanding of the sport of wrestling motivated me to take a different approach: find and pester athletes from two competing schools with a series of meaningless questions.

Josiah Boyd
McMaster Wrestling

Do you have a favourite move?
Definitely the fireman's carry. You take the inside of their arm, shoot it between their legs, hoist and rotate.

Have you ever done anything dirty in a match?

Have you ever considered pouching your opponent?

I'm curious, is there some kind of code among wrestlers? You know, if you get pouched, are you then authorized to return the favour?
Who did you say you worked for again?

Do you think you could take your coach Rob Betz?
No chance, he was an Olympic alternate one year.

Katie Wilson
Western Wrestling

What's your favourite move?
The fireman's throw.

Have you ever done anything dirty in a match?
Sometimes my bony elbows get into [an opponents] back [laughs], but I wouldn't know anything about it.

Have you ever considered pouching someone?
I've definitely thought about it.

What stops you?
Oh, I don't know. Being disqualified, the whole moral issue.

Could you pin coach Ray Takahashi?
Oh God no, he got fourth in the Olympics. He would destroy everyone in here.

Even Kurt Angle?
Who's Kurt Angle?

Eric McAlister
Western Wrestling

Do you have a favourite move?
The trap-arm, gut-wrench. You trap your opponent's arm under his body, then turn him for two [points].

Have you ever done anything dirty in the ring?
Nah, I stepped on some guy's toe once, but the ref caught me.

Today's tournament is open to non-university students. I've noticed a lot of older competitors. Do you cringe at wrestling veterans?
It doesn't really matter to me. They don't have any secret moves. I just like beating them.

Do you read The Gazette?
No. I do the crossword.

Could you beat Ray Takahashi?
No way, he's a machine.



Results from the Western Open Wrestling Tournament

Men’s Individual University Results

57 kg.
3. Seth Ross Western

72 kg.
3. Keenan Miller Western

76 kg.
1. Ayman Ezzeddine Western

82 kg.
2. Mark Young Western

130 kg.
3. Anthony Onorato Western

Men’s Team Results

1. UNB
2. Western
3. Lakehead

Women’s Individual Results

53 kg.
1. Terri McNutt Western

65 kg.
2. Sarah Gil Western
3. Christine Gils Western

77 kg.
3. Jen Schied Western

Women’s Team Results

1. Queen’s
2. Western
3. Lakehead

Contact The Sports Department