After a strong season, the Mustangs' wrestling team remained dominant and showcased their talent on the national stage at the U Sports championships this past weekend.
A squad of 12 Mustangs brought home four individual medals, a women’s team bronze and a major award.
With a number of impressive performances, the women’s team proved to be among the best in the country.
Leading the pack was Madison Parks in the women’s 51 kilogram weight class who dominated in every sense of the word.
Parks was a relentless competitor. Over the course of the two day tournament, she outscored her opponents 42 to five, only having given up the five points in her first match. In the gold medal match, she shutout her competitor 10 to nothing to capture the win decisively.
A winner both on and off the mats, Jennifer Nwamadi demonstrates what it means to be the ultimate student-athlete.
In the women’s 72 kg class, Nwamadi took down her opponent seven to nothing for the bronze medal. Following up this victory with another, she was the recipient of the U Sports Female Community Service Award.
Not only does Nwamadi excel in sport and academics, but is an avid volunteer in a number of organizations. Notably, she is an active volunteer with Frontier College, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Ronald McDonald House.
In another bronze medal performance, first-year athlete Tyanna Soucy captured the win in the women’s 82 kg category.
Fellow rookie Paige Baynham, fell just short of the podium in a scathing bronze medal match that put her in fourth place.
In a duo of sixth-place finishes, Hannah Vanderslagt and Ella Doornaet had strong showings in their events, the women’s 48 kg and 55 kg respectively.
Further to this, Mary Sydney Clavet was eighth in women’s 63 kg which rounded off the women’s team total points to a score of 34.0 which placed them third overall.
“We knew going in we had a strong women’s team. At these events anything can happen and you have to wrestle each match and focus on one match at a time,” said Mustangs head coach Scott Proctor. “Our women did a great job of that and everyone contributed to the overall placement of the women’s team.”
Topping the men’s ranks was Anthony Parker who scored a bronze medal in the men’s 120 kg class.
Fourth-year athlete Arjun Sahota placed fifth in the men’s 100 kg class. In the fifth-place match, Sahota competed against John Campbell of Lakehead University, a rival he had previously lost to at the Ontario University Athletics' championships.
“That is always a positive time when we can beat athletes we had lost to two weeks earlier,” commented Proctor.
Amongst a field of tough competition, prized veteran Brayden Ambo was fifth in the men’s 82 kg weight class. Throughout the season Ambo has been hampered by injury, but was persistent in competing at the championships.
Though the results may not have been what he was hoping for, Ambo will have a chance at redemption again next varsity season.
“His leadership on the team is going to be an asset and I am happy for him that he gets one more chance of winning a national title next year,” said Proctor. “If things go well and he stays healthy, it is certainly a possibility for him.”
In other results, Hassan Al-Hayawi was fourth in the men’s 65 kg, and Tejas Patel was eighth in the men’s 54 kg.
All in all, a championship marked with very strong representation from the Western Mustangs.
“Everyone wrestled hard and gave their full effort, we are happy with the effort they gave,” said Proctor.