Women’s wrestling win CW banner

By Rhiannon Kirkland

The Dinos took to the mat at last weekend’s CW wrestling championships and came out with three individual awards and a banner for the women.

The Dinos won the women’s team competition by four points over the University of Alberta with Saskatchewan coming in third.

“I had three fifth-year players and a fourth-year player, all very experienced at the event,” said wrestling head coach Mitch Ostberg. “We had a pretty strong line up going in, so I felt like we had a pretty good shot at winning and that was the case. We were challenged for sure and we had to wrestle well to win it.”

For the fifth year in a row, Gen Haley won a CW gold. This year she moved up a weight class to the 55 kg level from the 51 kg level.  Haley won the outstanding female wrestler of the year award.

“She won the outstanding wrestler for the meet in the women’s division, I think in part based on the fact that she had won five Canada West titles in a row,” said Ostberg. “So that is simply outstanding.”

Three other Dinos women topped their weight classes — Jessy Seida (63 kg), Erica Wiebe (72 kg) and Leah Callahan (82 kg). Ruth Laing finished second in the 67 kg weight category.

Danielle Burk (59 kg) and Tessa Gallinger (51 kg) captured bronze medals.

The men’s team placed third behind first-place Regina and second-place Saskatchewan.

“I felt that was a really good performance for our men’s team,” said Ostberg. “We’ve got a really young crew. The winners of the event had a very veteran team.”

Dino Brian Hutton won the outstanding male wrestler award and Spenser Burk was named male rookie of the year. Hutton (68 kg) and team mate Dan Nwaerondu (130 kg) both came in first place. Burk (65 kg) and Vaughn Gandy (54 kg) won silver medals.

“We had two individual award winners and two champions, that was pretty good,” said Ostberg. “We only qualified four out of the ten weights which makes it a bit tougher for CIS for team scoring.”

The competition also acted as the qualifier for the CIS wrestling championships that will take place at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay from Feb. 25-26.

Only the top three from each weight category qualified. Seven Dino women qualified, as did four of the Dino men.

“[The women] qualified seven out of eight weights to go forward to the CIS which is a great opportunity for us to have success at the CIS as well,” said Ostberg. “I think it’s going to be very close. We have a team that is capable of winning it, but it’s going to be how we perform on the day.”

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