The Lakehead Thunderwolves men's and women's wrestling teams head to St. Catharines, Ontario this weekend for the OUA Wrestling Championships; hosted by the defending champion Brock Badgers.
Note: The OUA Championship Finals will be videowebcast Saturday at 3:00 pm EST at www.splitdraw.com.
Both the men’s and women’s squads look very good heading to St. Kitt’s; but the both have a very tall task; to dethrone the Brock Badgers. The Brock men have won the OUA pennant a record 14 consecutive times while the Badgers women have won 8 of the 11 OUA titles contested for historically since 1997-98. Lakehead’s women have won two OUA titles but the Wolves men are looking for their first-ever OUA championship.
Last year the Lakehead men were second to the Badgers and the Wolves are tired of being bridesmaids and Lakehead Head Coach Owen Dawkins thinks that this year’s installment of the team is a year older, more mature, and now possesses the necessary experience to challenge the powerful Badgers for the OUA title. Lakehead defeated Brock at home this year at the Brock Open; however that was the regular season and not for the championships and the talented Badgers will not give up their title easily; if at all.
Coach Dawkins said his team is ready to give its all this weekend. “In order for us to win we have to count on each of our wrestlers to wrestle their best, and hope that some of Brock's wrestlers perhaps won’t be at their best. We have worked very hard this year, and we are just waiting for the first whistle to blow.”
Leading the Wolves charge will be two-time CIS champion Huy Nguyen. Two-time CIS silver medalist Clayton Serreres is also ready to make some noise. OUA Gold/Silver medalist and CIS bronze medalist Corey Lee is also ready to go.
Other men to watch are 2008 OUA silver medalist Brandon Gardiner, 2008 OUA bronze medalist Colten Woznow, 2008 OUA bronze medalist Chadd Lee, veteran Gaston Tardiff, and talented young wrestlers like Angelo Daniele, Scott Christian, Jason Chalifoux, and Benjamin Eaglestone. Corey Lee, Tardiff, Chalifoux, and Eaglestone all took gold at the Brock Open while Chadd Lee and Christian took silver, and Woznow took bronze.
On the women’s side; the Wolves are still very young, but they are more athletic and more eager to wrestle than they have been for the past three years. Coach Dawkins said the Wolves should challenge for a top three spot at this years championships; looking to improve upon last year’s fourth place team finish.
Unfortunately for the Wolves; two-time defending OUA Champion and CIS Silver medalist Nicole Plummer is injured and will not be able to compete. However, the Wolves have plenty of talent ready to make their mark.
Leading the charge will be sophomore Emma Brightwell, senior Leah Daugherty, and freshman Aislynn Torfason. Brightwell, defending Canadian Junior champion, took gold at this year’s Ontario Juniors and the McMaster Open and silver at the Guelph Open. Torfason took gold at the Brock Open and silver at the Ontario Seniors.
Daugherty is a three-time OUA silver medalist and OUA All Star and this year took gold at the Ontario Seniors. She will be looking to capture the elusive OUA gold this year.
Katelyn Proulx is coming off a silver medal performance at the Brock Open. Jessica Bershatsky also took silver at the Ontario Seniors. Alex Demars and newcomer Kendra Ezack will look to do some damage as well.
Lakehead Thunderwolves OUA Championships Roster:
54kg Huy Nguyen 2-Time CIS gold medal medalist
57kg Gaston Tardif
61kg Angelo Daniele
65kg Scott Christian/ Clayton Sereres 2 x CIS silver medal medalist
68kg Clayton Sereres / Brandon Gardiner 2008 OUA silver medalist
72kg Chadd Lee 2008 OUA Bronze medalist
76kg Corey Lee 2007 OUA gold and CIS bronze/2008 OUA silver medalist
82kg Colten Woznow 2008 OUA bronze medalist
90kg Benjamin Eaglestone
130kg Jason Chalifoux
48kg Jessica Bershatsky
55kg Alex Demars
59kg Leah Dougherty 3 x OUA silver medalist
63kg Aislynn Torfason
67kg Kendra Ezack
72kg Katelyn Proulx
82kg Emma Brightwell