THUNDER BAY, Ont. (ISN) – The 2012 CIS wrestling championships concluded on Saturday afternoon in the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse before a raucous crowd of Thunder Bay fans and those attending from across the country. On this day it was the Brock women’s team and the Concordia men’s squad that captured the championship banners.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wrest/index
It was a repeat performance from 2011 for the Concordia Stingers, who very narrowly beat out the Regina Cougars to claim the eighth men’s title in program history.
For the Brock Badgers, who dethroned the Alberta Pandas, it was a return to glory, 10 years after capturing their only previous women’s crown in 2002.
The hometown fans of Thunder Bay also had a lot to celebrate, as the Lakehead Thunderwolves swept gold in both the women’s and men’s heavyweight categories.
Emma Brightwell (82 kg) and Preston Mikulasik (130kg) both won their matches within 15 seconds of one another on side-by-side mats, much to the delight of the Thunderdome crowd. The two wrestlers soon after embraced each other, with the rest of the Lakehead contingent huddled around them in celebration. Brightwell and Mikulasik were later named the most outstanding wrestlers of the championships.
Brock finished atop the women’s standings with 63 points. Defending champion Alberta followed with 41.
Out of a full contingent of eight female athletes, Brock won four gold medals, including Jade Parsons (48kg), Diana Ford (55kg), Natasha Chang (59kg) and Michelle Fazzari (63kg). Jasmine Mian (51kg) took silver, while Deborah Jehu (67kg), Rebecca Levitt (72kg) and Olivia Dibacco (82kg) all finished fourth.
Fazzari, a national team member from Caledonia, Ont., returned to university wrestling this season after a two-year hiatus, and earlier this month became the first female in school history to win five OUA individual titles over her career. She finishes with three gold (2007, 2008, 2011), one silver (2006) and one bronze (2009) in five CIS championship appearances.
Brock coach Marty Calder was named women’s coach of the year.
Alberta’s top finishers were Molly Bouchard, with a silver medal (72kg), and Natalie Brady, with bronze (51kg).
Guelph received two gold-medal performances from Allison Leslie (67kg) and Madison Parks (51kg). Parks was chosen female rookie of the year.
Calgary’s Erica Wiebe (72kg) rounds out the list of individual champions in the women’s tournament.
The Student-Athlete Community Service Award was given to Victoria Ralph of Memorial Sea, while the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award went to Lee Thomas of UNB.
In the men’s championship, Concordia totaled 56 points, only two more than Regina. It was an unfortunate ending for the Cougars, who trailed Concordia by two points heading into the final match of the day, which pitted Regina’s Gaelan Malloy against Ilya Abelev of Western for the 68kg gold medal.
In one of his first attacks, Malloy twisted his ankle badly and the match was stopped to assess the injury. After having the medical staff tape his ankle (outside of the shoe, due to injury time restrictions), Malloy re-entered the bout. But the ankle was too badly injured for him to continue and despite his wishes to fight on, his coach, seeing the pain he was in and the 5-0 point deficit in the second round, threw in the towel and conceded the match. Had Malloy not incurred the injury and captured gold, Regina would have been tied Concordia with 56 points and held the tie-breaker thanks to a 3-2 edge in gold medals.
Two Stingers were crowned on Saturday, including national team member David Tremblay (61kg) and James Mancini (65kg). Teammate Scott Schiller claimed silver (72kg), while Greg Rossy (130kg) and Irankah Nariman (82kg) took bronze.
Tremblay, a native of Stony Point, Ont., is a former CIS male wrestler of the year (2009) and was crowned for the fourth time in as many university seasons. He is also the current Canadian senior champion in his weight category.
Mitchell Krauter (76kg) and Noel Tremblay (57kg) had fourth-place finishes for Concordia and Stephen De Layen (68kg) was fifth. Stingers’ coach Victor Zilberman was named men’s coach of the year.
Regina received gold medals from Steven Schneider (57kg) and Connor Malloy (76kg), as well as silver from Kirk Ackerman (61kg) and Gaelan Malloy (68kg).
The Western Mustangs finished third in the men’s standings with 47 points, thanks in part to gold medals from Ilya Abelev (68kg) and Steven Takahashi (54kg).
McMaster also won a pair of gold medals, with Sean House (90kg) doing so with a pin against Landon Squires, and Kevin MacLellan triumphing in the 82kg weight class. Jason Buckle (57kg) took silver and was named male rookie of the year.
Saskatchewan’s Ryan Myrfield captured gold in the 72kg division and was also awarded the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award. His teammate Landon Squires was the recipient of the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS – WOMEN
1. Brock 63 points
2. Alberta 41
3. Saskatchewan 38
4. Guelph 30
5. Regina 25
6. Lakehead 24
7. Western 23
8. Calgary 22
9. Concordia 20
10. Memorial 7
11. Winnipeg 4
12. McMaster 3
13. UNB 2
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS – MEN
1. Concordia 56 points
2. Regina 54
3. Western 47
4. Alberta 45
5. McMaster 42
6. Guelph 33
7. Saskatchewan 31
8. Lakehead 27
9. Brock 20
10. UNB 18
11. Calgary 13
12. Memorial 3