Western wrestlers grapple for the Pipe

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Purple Pipe: Women’s wrestling squad

Joyce Wang

RATS! I THOUGHT THERE WAS CHOCOLATE IN THERE. The women's wrestling squad scrapped its way to third place at the nationals. Pictured from left: Jessica Fitzgerald, Katrina Huszarik, Jessica Belchos.

Every week, The Gazette recognizes an athlete or team who’s had a particularly successful match or season. This week, the lucky recipients are wrestlers Katrina Huszarik, Jessica Fitzgerald and Jessica Belchos.

After winning the Ontario University Athletics Wrestling Championships by defeating the six-time defending champion Brock Badgers, the women’s wrestlers advanced to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships, receiving several medals.

The squad placed third overall. Fitzgerald and Belchos nabbed bronze medals while Huszarik placed sixth. The trio recently stopped by The Gazette to discuss bar fights, the WWE and high-school coaches.

When did you start wrestling?
HUSZARIK: I did a lot of sports in high school. I didn’t start wrestling until my last year at high school. I was actually on the hockey team in my first year at Western; I didn’t really like the hockey so much, so I decided to join the wrestling team.
FITZGERALD: [Huszarik and I] went to the same high school and in our last year we had a super-cute coach....That same year so many girls started wrestling.

How do you handle the pressure of competing at the OUA and CIS levels?
HUSZARIK: It’s pretty tough with school and everything, but I love the feeling of getting into a match. It kind of takes the pressure off when you win. It makes everything worth it.
BELCHOS: I’ve just been in so many tournaments that they all feel the same now. I just do the same thing with every single match and I just hope to win.

Are you a multi-sport athlete or is wrestling your main focus?
FITZGERALD: Wrestling is my main focus; I’m not very skilled in most other sports. (laughs)
BELCHOS: I play on the Canadian rugby team and the Western varsity rugby team.

Have you ever been in a bar fight? Did you kick ass?
HUSZARIK: I’ve been a spectator, but never been in one. I’m always the one breaking up fights.
FITZGERALD: I’ve tried, but my team is good at keeping each other out of trouble.

If you were a WWE wrestler, what would your persona be?
HUSZARIK: My nickname was Bonecrusher, so that would be my persona.
FITZGERALD: I don’t think I’d have a very good WWE persona " I’d be pretty boring.

Any interesting injuries?
FITZGERALD: I was thrown off balance and landed on a spectator and got my leg mangled.
BELCHOS: I was thrown and landed [with my arms behind my back] and tore muscles in my back and neck.

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