Wrestling preview: Host Alberta hoping to claim two conference titles

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February 14, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The 2013 Canada West wrestling championships take place at the University of Alberta Pavilion in Edmonton, February 15-16.

Aside from individual competition, the Rawson Trophy goes to the top overall men’s team, while women compete for the Christine Nordhagen Trophy. Individual awards, to be announced at the event’s conclusion, include Outstanding Wrestler of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Top Student-Athlete (CIS nominee), Coach of the Year and the Fair Play Trophy.

Awards will be presented 6:00-8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The top three in each event qualify for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships, March 1-2 at Western University in London, Ont.: http://english.cis-sic.ca/sports/mwrest/index

SCHEDULE

Day One – Friday, February 15

Mat 1

Mat 2

Bye

Red vs. Blue

Red vs. Blue

2:00 pm

Round 1

Women

Calgary vs. Alberta

Regina vs. Winnipeg

Saskatchewan

3:00 pm

Round 1

Men

Saskatchewan vs. Alberta

Regina vs. Winnipeg

Calgary

4:30 pm

Round 2

Women

Calgary vs. Winnipeg

Regina vs. Saskatchewan

Alberta

7:00 pm

Round 3

Women

Regina vs. Alberta

Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg

Calgary

8:00 pm

Round 2

Men

Regina vs. Alberta

Calgary vs. Winnipeg

Saskatchewan

Day Two – Saturday, February 16

Mat 1

Mat 2

Bye

Red vs. Blue

Red vs. Blue

9:30 am

Round 3

Men

Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg

Calgary vs Regina

Alberta

11:00 am

Round 4

Women

Saskatchewan vs Alberta

Calgary vs Regina

Winnipeg

12:00 pm

Round 4

Men

Winnipeg vs Alberta

Calgary vs Saskatchewan

Regina

1:30 pm

Round 5

Women

Winnipeg vs Alberta

Calgary vs Saskatchewan

Regina

2:30 pm

Round 5

Men

Calgary vs Alberta

Regina vs Saskatchewan

Winnipeg

CIS RANKINGS (February 12th)

Women

(previous ranking)

1. Brock (1)

2. Alberta (2)

3. Calgary (3)

4. Western (4)

5. Regina (5)

6. Saskatchewan (6)

7. Lakehead (7)

8. UNB (8)

9. McMaster (9)

10. Concordia (10)

Men

1. Alberta (1)

2. Concordia (2)

3. Brock (3)

4. Western (4)

5. McMaster (5)

6. Guelph (6)

7. Saskatchewan (7)

8. Regina (8)

9. Calgary (9)

10. UNB (10)

ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS & PANDAS

Men

2011-12 Canada West: 2nd

2011-12 CIS: 4th

Last CW title: 1985

Last CIS title: 1972

Women

2011-12 Canada West: 1st

2011-12 CIS: 2nd

Last CW title: 2012

Last CIS title: 2011

Key additions: Jarad Collins, Abdul Taj, Jamie Harrington, Mike Asselstine

Key returnees: Drew Belanger, Dylan Williams, Sabrina Kelly, Marlen Figueroa, Jason Wass, Coleman Brinker, Molly Bouchard, Lyndsey Almeida, Hayley Thomas, Jamie Bergenstrom

EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas wrestling programs enter this weekend’s Canada West championships as favourites to win both the men’s and women’s titles. The nationally No.1 ranked Golden Bears are hunting for their first conference crown since 1985, while the CIS No.2 ranked Pandas are looking to defend their reign as conference champions.

The U of A is also hosting the championship, beginning on the afternoon of February 15, and concluding with the awards banquet on Saturday evening.

Fourth-year head coach Owen Dawkins has built two very strong squads that feature a plethora of returning stars, as well as a few rookies that could make a name for themselves this weekend.

Alberta’s men’s team will be led by returning veterans and CIS medalists Coleman Brinker, Jason Wass, Drew Belanger, Dylan Williams and Mike Asselstine. Asselstine, the Canada West Rookie of the Meet in 2008, is back with the Bears after four years away. Rookies Jarred Collins and Abdul Taj should also garner some points this weekend for the No.1 team in CIS. Fifth-year Jey Naicker, along with Daniel Oloumni gives Alberta plenty of experience and depth as well. Graeme Forsyth and Jason Margo, both of whom competed at the CIS championship last season, have missed the entire 2012-13 season due to injury. Williams, Belanger and Margo all claimed Canada West gold last season for the Bears when they finished second to Regina by just a single point.

The Pandas, winners of a CIS silver and Canada West gold in 2012, are led by returning CIS medalists Sabrina Kelly, Marlen Figueroa, Molly Bouchard, Natalie Brady and Hayley Thomas. Lyndsey Almeida, Jamie Bergenstrom, Madison Beblow are all medal this weekend for Alberta as well. Brady and Thomas each earned Canada West gold last year, while Figueroa, Bouchard, Beblow and Kelly, who is also a member of the conference champion Pandas rugby team, all earned Canada West silver at last year’s championship. Rookie Jamie Harrington is a key part of the Pandas future, but due to injury, will not compete this weekend.

http://www.bears.ualberta.ca/

CALGARY DINOS

Men

2011-12 Canada West: 4th

2011-12 CIS: 11th

Last CW title: 2003

Last CIS title: none

Women

2011-12 Canada West: 4th

2011-12 CIS: 8th

Last CW title: 2011

Last CIS title: 2009

CALGARY – With the departure of a number of strong Dinos wrestlers on the women’s teams recently, Calgary’s head coach Mitch Ostberg has his work cut out for him.

The women’s team lost Olympic hopeful Gen Haley two years ago and this year loses another national champion in Erica Wiebe. She won the national title at 72kg in her final year as a Dino and has passed the torch to her remaining teammates.

Holly Ellsworth-Clark is the new Dinos leader on the women’s side. The third-year won a silver medal at the CIS Championships last year at 82kg and she won conference gold in the same weight class earlier that season. Jessy Seida is another standout for Calgary heading into the season having won the Canada West title at 63kg two years ago. She enters her fourth year as a Dino.

For the men, third-year Spenser Burk is a standout amongst the team. He captured a CIS bronze medal last season at 65kg and won a conference silver in 2011. Brian Hutton also returns as a favourite for the Dinos having won a CIS bronze in 2011 at 68kg following a conference championship winning performance.

The Dinos head to the Canada West Championship Feb. 15-16 in Edmonton while London’s Western University hosts the national championships Mar. 1-2.

http://www.godinos.com/

REGINA COUGARS

Men

2011-12 Canada West: 1st

2011-12 CIS: 2nd

Last CW title: 2012

Last CIS title: 1998

Women

2011-12 Canada West: 3rd

2011-12 CIS: 5th

Last CW title: none

Last CIS title: none

REGINA – Ranked #8 in CIS, the Regina Cougars men are the two-time defending Canada West champion and looking to win a third consecutive conference title for the first time since the program took home six consecutive championships in the 1990s.

Leading the way for the Cougars is Steven Schneider, who’s in his final season of CIS eligibility and has won three consecutive Canada West gold medals. John Lendvoy, a two-time Canada West silver medalist, is the only other fifth-year athlete on the U of R roster.

Slotted at No. 2 in the CIS at 57 kg in the latest CAWA rankings, Schneider is the U of R’s highest-ranked wrestler on the men’s side. Paul Grebinski (130 kg) and newcomer Golden Musonza (54 kg) are both ranked No. 4 for the Cougars, while Mark Ballon (61 kg) is ranked No. 5.

The women’s team enters this weekend’s Canada West meet ranked No. 5 in the CIS. Danielle Anderson (59 kg) and Lisa McKibben (72 kg) have both had strong seasons for the Cougars and are ranked No. 2 in the nation in their respective classes by CAWA, while Jasmine Slinn (48 kg) and Jillian Durant (67 kg) are both ranked No. 3.

Slinn, a three-time Canada West medalist and a three-time CIS medalist, is the lone fifth-year wrestler on the U of R’s roster. All in their fourth seasons of eligibility, Anderson, Durant, and McKibben also bring plenty of experience to the table for head coach Leo McGee.

http://www.reginacougars.com/

SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES

Men

2011-12 Canada West: 3rd

2011-12 CIS: 7th

Last CW title: 1986

Last CIS title: none

Women

2011-12 Canada West: 2nd

2011-12 CIS: 3rd

Last CW title: none

Last CIS title: none

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies look to finish at the top of the pack at the 2013 Canada West championship.

Saskatchewan’s women enter after a program-best second place conference finish and third place CIS finish in 2012. At the Canada West Championship, the Huskie women’s squad finished just two points away from the team title. The men proved to be strong once again with a third place Canada West finish.

Leading the way for the Huskies on the men’s side will be reigning champion in the 72-kg weight class Ryan Myrfield. Myrfield won his third Canada West gold medal in 2012 and added his third gold at the CIS Championship. In 2012, he was named the CIS R.W. Pugh Award winner.

To help Myrfield in CIS experience is Landon Squires (90-kg), Dylan Bray (57-kg) and Theo Dow (61-kg). Squires captured his third straight gold medal, while Bray won his second silver medal and Dow added a bronze medal. A notable rookie will be Malcolm Meekins (65-kg), who has had strong results this season including winning the Winnipeg Wesmen tournament on February 1.

The Huskies return six of the eight members from the 2012 women’s squad. Leading the team is fifth-year veterans Natasha Kramble (48-kg) and Koren Pitkethly (59-kg). Kramble won a silver medal last season, while Pitkethly captured gold. Also returning to the team is Hannah Franson (55-kg) who won a silver medal in 2012.

http://huskies.usask.ca/

WINNIPEG WESMEN

Men

2011-12 Canada West: 5th

2011-12 CIS: N/A

Last CW title: none

Last CIS title: none

Women

2011-12 Canada West: 5th

2011-12 CIS: 11th

Last CW title: none

Last CIS title: none

WINNIPEG – Heading into the 2012-13 Canada West Wrestling Championships, Head coach Adrian Bruce and the University of Winnipeg Wesmen will be looking to continue their impressive showings as of late.

On the men’s side Briston Brenton (Casper, Wyoming) comes into this years CW Championships with four gold and one silver medal to his credit in Canada West competitions. Jake Miller (Barrie, Ontario) has been impressive this season winning a pair of gold medals along with a bronze during the 2012-2013 season. Kyle Nguyen (Vancouver, BC) has been impressive in the 130 kg weight class with a pair of silver medals and one bronze. Cean Bod-oy(Vancouver, BC) and Mohktar Hakimi (Winnipeg, MB) each placed in the top three at the recent Wesmen Invitational Tournament. Brock Munro (The Pas, MB) will be looking for a good placing in this year’s championship.

The women’s team has won a total of six medals in Canada West competitions this season. Maura Martina (Cape St.George, NF) has been impressive winning a silver medal at the U of Wpg Invitational adding to her pair of bronze medals won earlier in the season. Jessica Brenton, (Casper, Wyoming) last years Canada West Women’s Rookie of the Year has returned from a first half injury and is back to form. Brenton has back-to-back third place finishes in the 63 kg weight class. Emily Kessler (Essex, ON) won a bronze medal at the University of Calgary Invitational in the 55 kg class. Masrine Edwards (Whitby, On) and Daley Forbes (Port, Alberni, BC) round out the women’s teams.

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