Western hosts OUA Championship
By Alison Stolz
T’AIN’T NO PROBLEM PINNING YOU. Western wrestler
Katie Wilson (top) gets the edge over a grimacing opponent
during last weekend’s Western Open.
With the Ontario University Athletics Championship quickly approaching,
the Mustangs’ wrestling team is hammering out new techniques
and fine tuning their physical strength.
“We just have to stay healthy and practice technical and tactical
strategies. It has been a strong season thus far, so we will be prepared
for the OUA’s,” said head coach Ray Takahashi.
This past weekend, Western hosted the annual Western Open. Many
OUA competitors were present, including Queen’s, Guelph,
Lakehead, Brock, McGill, New Brunswick, the Montreal Wrestling
Club, a team from Saskatchewan and two college teams from Michigan.
The Mustangs took advantage of this opportunity to work out any
bumps and practice their strategies on the mat.
The women’s team won the overall team title with two golds,
three silver and one bronze with a total of 42 points; Brock, with
29 points, followed the Mustangs and took second. Terri McNutt
will be the favourite going into the OUA competition on Saturday,
Feb. 21 at Western, after another gold in the 53 kg weight category.
Jennifer Kryszak won her first gold medal in the 70 kg class.
In the 48 kg class, Katie Wilson surprised coaches with a silver
medal, beating women from Saskatchewan and Queen’s. Both
Sarah Gil and Jen Scheid took silver medals, and Ali Huether walked
away with a bronze.
“We have a really strong women’s team this year. There
are just as many veterans as rookies, and I am positive this year’s
outcome will be better than past years,” McNutt said.
Placing second, the men also had a successful day at the Western
Open. Defeating his Lakehead rival Steve Raine, Western captain
Eric McAlister, won a gold medal in the 76 kg category.
Seth Ross of the Mustangs grabbed the silver medal after a tough
match with 2003 Commonwealth silver medalist and Canadian Interuniversity
champion Jamie Maccari from Brock. Al Bermingham took silver in
“I am stoked for the team [OUA competition],” said
Jamie Gillman “If we train hard and keep our focus, we should
be ready to go.”
The team will focus on their techniques and tactics for the next
three weeks before the meet. Takahashi and the coaching staff still
have some decisions to make about weight classes. Practices will
focus less on physical training and more on perfecting moves.
“I just want to build up my confidence with particular moves,
and that will take more practice and hard work,” McNutt said.
Her offensive strategies are being improved with the addition
of new leg attacks. In the Western Open, McNutt reached success
with her leg attacks against opponents — now she just wants
to perfect it with practice.
Second year wrestler Tosh Jeffrey described the OUA competition
as “serious stuff.” He also plans on working hard for
the next three weeks.
“We’ll practice hard, and with a little luck, we will
come out on top,” Jeffrey said.
Awaiting a match with her rival from Lakehead, Western wrestler
Katie Wilson is excited for the OUA meet on the 21st.
“Personally I will need to gain a little weight and work
on my tactics,” she said. “As a team, we need to be
focused for the OUA’s.”
“We just need to stay healthy and have as few injuries as
possible,” Takahashi added about the OUA’s.
There will be some tough competition in three weeks, but the Mustangs
are feeling confident after their weekend victory. The Mustangs
hope the key to success at the 2004 OUA championships will be focus