February 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 68  

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Western hosts OUA Championship

By Alison Stolz

Gazette Staff

Meghan Hart/Gazette
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 90 kg.

“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 and discipline.



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