Ryan Myrfield was on everyone’s radar Feb. 10 and 11 in Regina for the Canada West wrestling championships.
The reigning Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport 72-kilogram champion executed in much the same fashion as last year, easily taking the conference title without losing a match.
First-year Huskie Jacob Phillips surprised the competition by winning the largest, 130-kilogram weight class while fourth-year Landon Squires placed first in the 90-kilogram division.
Brady Lange, Theo Dow and Chad Caron of the Huskies also wrestled their way into the top three of their respective weight categories.
Saskatchewan’s men’s squad, which saw nine wrestlers put up top five finishes, landed third in the team standings with a combined 34 points — 11 points behind the hosting Regina Cougars who edged out Alberta by a single point for the title. Calgary finished fourth with 20 points while Winnipeg finished last with only 3 points.On the women’s side, the Huskies put up a strong showing despite their large number of rookies — four of the team’s eight wrestlers are in their first year of CIS competition.
Fourth-year Koren Pitkethly and third-year Kathleen Kent led the charge, winning gold in the 59-kilogram and 63-kilogram categories, respectively.
Rookies Katie Dutchak and Hannah Franson both clinched second in their weight classes, while teammate and fellow first year Lisa Brise grappled for third in the 67-kilogram weight range.
Team captain and fourth-year Natasha Kramble rounded out the medal total by winning silver in the 48-kilogram weight class, the lightest of the divisions
Collectively, the women managed 32 points and a second-place finish in the team standings — just two points shy of first place Alberta. Regina, which put up 26 points, narrowly beat out Calgary by three points to take third while Winnipeg bottomed the competition with six points.
The tournament, which wrapped up Saturday afternoon, was followed with a banquet supper where the conference’s individual awards were given out.
Regina’s Connor Malloy, who claimed a gold medal in the men’s 76-kilogram event, was named Canada West male Wrestler of the Year. Erica Wiebe of Calgary took female Wrestler of the Year honours.
Wiebe, the women’s 72-kilogram champion, also got the nod for the conference’s female nominee in the CIS’s Student-Athlete Community Service Award. The Huskies’ Squires was selected as the male nominee. The award, which will be presented at the CIS tournament, is given to the wrestler who most exemplifies the combination of outstanding athletic ability, contribution in the community and classroom success.
Both Squires and Myrfield, as well as all wrestlers who landed in the top three of their weight categories, will get a chance for a national title at the CIS tournament hosted by Lakehead University Feb. 24-25 in Thunder Bay, Ont.
With files from Kevin Menz
File Photo: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf