U SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS
TORONTO – The Brock Badgers look to continue their dominance on the mat this weekend at the 2017 U SPORTS Wrestling Championships at the Axworthy Health and RecPlex on the campus of the University of Winnipeg.
Championship website: http://en.usports.ca/championships/wrest/index
Qualifiers & Pools: http://en.usports.ca/championships/wrest/2017/files/sched_results
The two-day meet, which will be hosted by the Wesmen for the first time after the University of Manitoba last welcomed the national championship to the provincial capital in 1993, gets under way on Friday with the preliminary rounds and concludes on Saturday with the placement matches (11 a.m. CT), bronze-medal bouts (12:30 p.m. CT) and finals (2:30 p.m. CT). Selected matches from all sessions – including all finals - will be webcast live on SPORTSCanada.TV
A year ago on home turf at Brock, the Badgers swept both the men’s and women’s banners for the third straight season. The Brock women set a new mark for consecutive titles, capturing the last five, and could tie the all-time mark of six overall set by Simon Fraser with another triumph on Saturday. In men’s competition, the Badgers have claimed a record 16 banners since the inaugural national championships in 1969.
Brock dominated the OUA Championship two weeks ago at McMaster University’s ThérèseQuiqley Sport Hall, sweeping both the men’s and women’s banners for the second straight year – and third in the women’s competition – with 17 medals, 14 of which were gold.
At last year’s national championships, Brock took home seven medals (4-3-0) in eight women’s events and 10 podium finishes (2-6-2) in 11 men’s categories to win both team titles by an average of 29 points. Three individual gold medalists return for the Badgers from 2016, including third-year Tina Mclaren in the 51 kg, third-year Emily Schaefer, who moved up to the 59 kg division after garnering U SPORTS rookie of the year honours in 2015 in the 51 kg, and fourth-year Jevon Balfour, who competes in the 82 kg weight class.
The Badgers will be represented in each of the eight women’s weight classes this weekend, with Alberta Saskatchewan and Guelph next each with five. One the men’s side, OUA champion Brock will compete in nine of 11 divisions, edging Western and McMaster (eight each), along with Saskatchewan, Alberta and Concordia (seven each).
“We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for us next week, both individually and as a team at the U Sports Championships,” said Brock head coach Marty Calder. “We expect to have to be at our best to achieve our goals and look forward to the challenge.”
Several new U SPORTS gold medalists will be crowned at this year’s national championship, as only four additional reigning champions are set to compete aside from the Brock trio of Mclaren, Schaefer and Balfour, including Josh Bodnarchuk of the Saskatchewan Huskies (57 kg), Vince de Marinis from the Concordia Stingers (65 kg), Ahmed Shamiya of the McMaster Marauders (2016 champion in 72 kg, competing this year at 76 kg) and 2016 co-wrestler of the year Finn Higgins of the host Winnipeg Wesmen (100 kg) on the men’s side.
No other women’s defending champions are set to compete.
A total of 15 schools will take part in the 2017 U SPORTS Wrestling Championships.
At the Canada West championships held two weeks back in Saskatoon, the Huskies claimed their first women’s banner in program history at home, while the Alberta Golden Bears won their fourth title in five years, and 10th overall after conceding the 2015 championship to Saskatchewan.
The Huskies earned five medals, including three gold at the conference meet, as Katie Dutchak (48 kg), Alison Mcphee (67 kg) and Kiera Prior (82 kg) all finished first in their respective divisions. The Golden Bears reached the podium seven times, with Melvin Arciaga (61 kg), Aiden Mckeage (68 kg) and Marcus Peterson all registering victories.
“It was an exciting weekend for the Huskie family!” said Huskies head coach Daniel Olver on the historic victory. “Winning our first conference team title at home in front of family, alumni and supporters was an incredible experience for our team. We are excited to showcase our skills at the national championship in Winnipeg.”
“Our Golden Bears and Pandas wrestling teams, compared to the No.1 ranked Brock University Badgers are small in numbers, however, we're looking to wrestle hard against the national champions when it comes to our head-to-head matches,” said Alberta head coach Owen Dawkins. “Our Bears and Pandas have trained very hard all year, have gained a ton of confidence with our showing at the Canada West Championship, and we are ready to wrestle our best at this year’s U SPORTS Championships.”
PAST U SPORTS TEAM CHAMPIONS
Women (inaugural women’s championship in 1999)
2010 Simon Fraser
2008 Simon Fraser
2006 Simon Fraser
2005 Simon Fraser
2004 Simon Fraser
2003 Simon Fraser
Men (last 20 years)
2010 Simon Fraser
2009 Simon Fraser
1999 to 2008 Brock (10 straight titles)
Complete list: Click HERE
PAST U SPORTS WRESTLERS OF THE YEAR (last 10 years)
2016 Hayley Thomas, Alberta (51 kg)
2015 Hayley Thomas, Alberta (51 kg)
2014 Brianne Barry, Western (55 kg)
2013 Samantha Stewart, UNB (59 kg)
2012 Emma Brightwell, Lakehead (82 kg)
2011 Gen Haley, Calgary (55 kg)
2010 Gen Haley, Calgary (51 kg)
2009 Heidi Erdle, Calgary (59 kg)
2008 Miranda Dick, Simon Fraser (55 kg)
2007 Hana Askren, Concordia (48 kg)
2006 Emily Richardson, Simon Fraser (59 kg)
Complete list: Click HERE
2016 Michael Asselstine, Alberta (61 kg)
2015 Michael Asselstine, Alberta (61 kg)
2014 Michael Asselstine, Alberta (61 kg)
2013 David Tremblay, Concordia (61 kg)
2012 Preston Mikulasik, Lakehead (130 kg)
2011 Vince Cormier, UNB (61 kg)
2010 Shujon Mazumber, Toronto (54 kg)
2009 David Tremblay, Concordia (61 kg)
2008 Dustyn Fisher, Simon Fraser (90 kg)
2007 Jamie Macari, Brock (54 kg)
2006 Sheldon Francis, McMaster (82 kg)
Complete list: Click HERE
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times CT)
Thursday, February 23
Friday, February 24
10:00 Preliminaries Round 1 (SPORTSCanada.TV)
13:00 Preliminaries Round 2 (SPORTSCanada.TV)
15:30 Preliminaries Round 3 (SPORTSCanada.TV)
Saturday, February 25
11:00 5th-8th place matches (SPORTSCanada.TV)
12:30 Bronze-medal matches (SPORTSCanada.TV)
14:30 Championship finals (SPORTSCanada.TV)
18:30 Championship Banquet (Radisson Hotel)
About U SPORTS
U SPORTS is the national brand for University Sports in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 500 coaches from 56 universities vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. U SPORTS also provides higher performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit usports.ca or follow us on: