The University of Alberta Pandas and the University of Calgary Dinos took home the women’s and men’s team titles respectively at the annual Huskies Open wrestling tournament on Nov. 23.
The University of Saskatchewan Huskies women placed third while the men finished fourth.
The Pandas took the win with 42 points on the women’s side while the Dinos took second with 23. The Huskies finished with 17 points.
The Dinos placed first in the men’s division with 46 points, edging out the Golden Bears who had 42. The Huskies placed fourth with 27 points, behind the third place University of Winnipeg Wesmen who finished with 35 points.
The tournament brought together varsity teams from the U of S, U of A, U of C, U of W and the University of Jamestown. As the tournament is open format, wrestling club teams from Calgary and Saskatoon also competed.
The Huskies brought home six individuals medals — one gold, four silvers and three bronzes.
Second year wrestler Malcolm Meekins claimed the Huskies’ only gold medal in the men’s 72-kilogram weight class. Meekins blew out three of his four opponents by a minimum of 10 points.
The Huskies’ Shane Johnson narrowly defeated Saskatoon Wrestling Club’s Patrick Leynes 17-14 in the semi-final of the men’s 54-kilogram division in one of the best matches of the day before falling to the Golden Bears’ Melvin Arciaga in the gold medal match.
In the women’s 67-kilogram division, second year Huskie Shelby Irwin took second place in her first competition since claiming a silver medal at the 2013 International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles’ Junior Pan-American Championship in July.
Annie Monteith and Anthony Ojukwu also won silver medals in the women’s 48-kilogram and men’s 100-kilogram weight classes respectively.
Lisa Brise took home the Huskies’ only bronze medal of the day after falling to eventual silver medalist Temi Ogunjimi of the Dinos in the semi-final of the women’s 63-kilogram class.
Huskies Theo Dow and Drew Buhn narrowly missed podium finishes in the men’s 61 kilogram and women’s 59 kilogram classes respectively. Buhn’s teammate Laryssa Barry finished fifth in the same division.
Both Buhn and Barry lost to the Pandas’ Cholena Horne in the consolation bracket. A second fifth place finish was claimed by the Huskies’ Jacob Phillips in the men’s 120 kilogram division.
The Huskies also had three sixth-place finishes, with Katie Duchak in the women’s 51-kilogram class, Andrew Johnson in the men’s 82-kilogram class and Dylan Bray in the men’s 61-kilogram class.
Named a Canada West second-team all star twice, Bray’s first round win against Wesmen Moktar Hakimi was perhaps the most exciting match of the day. Unfortunately, during the match the Huskies’ star suffered a concussion and a cut above his right eye which required stitches. Bray was unable to continue competing following the injuries.
Overall, Daniel Olver, Huskies wrestling Interim Head Coach was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I felt the team wrestled with heart and did not hold back,” said Olver, “This was our first small peak, so it was good to see where we are at as a team and what we need to work on.”
Also competing for the Huskies were Silke Svenkeson, Shukwia Tajik, Richard Cux, Blake Pritchard, Jeff Kirzinger and Evan Yaworski.
Former Huskie and Canadian Interuniversity Sport gold medalist Jill Gallays competed in the open portion of the tournament and took home the gold medal in the women’s 59-kilogram class.
The University of Calgary Wrestling Club’s Jasmine Mian and Saskatoon Wrestling Club’s Calvin Daum were named the tournament’s outstanding wrestlers.
The Huskies return to action on Jan. 4 in Edmonton at the Golden Bears Ope
Photo: Tony Ambrose