Wrestling team carries on tradition, preps for OUAs
Derek Patterson, Sports and Recreation Editor
The 2018-19 season marks the 49th season of a long successful tradition of wrestling at Lakehead University. Wrestling at Lakehead began in 1970 with the hiring of Gord Garvie and has been successful ever since. Over these nearly fifty years we have won a National Championship (1980), developed thirty national champions, and more than one hundred conference and national all-stars. To top all of this, we have produced more than forty wrestlers who have made national teams and represented Canada on the international stage.
Fast forward to today, and we are still carrying on this legacy. Last October, Lakehead’s very own Jacob Luczak represented Canada and competed at the Senior World Championship in Budapest, Hungary in the 92 kg weight class. Our wrestling depth doesn’t stop there, as Lakehead’s 2018 Athlete of the Year, Marco Palermo, travelled to Fortaleza, Brazil to compete at the Junior Pan-American Championships in August and claimed the silver medal.
This season, our men’s and women’s teams are currently getting prepped for the Ontario University Athletics and USPORTS championships. Both our men and women’s teams are ranked among the top ten in the country and we have many individuals who have been ranked at one time in the USPORTS top six. Among these include Marco Palermo, Jacob Luczak, Hasan Ercan, Sam Lockie, Steven Chambers, Abraham Mfonpa’re Ntienjem, Alex Richer and Myles Bellegrade. We’ve also had 3 women who have been sitting in the top six who include Megan Smith, Ashley Gravelle and Klara Patel.
Our wrestlers have several upcoming competitions that will help them to qualify for the provincial and national competitions. After travelling to Guelph for the Guelph Open on January 20th, for some, the next stop will be the Ontario Junior Championships during the January 26-27th weekend, while the rest of the team will travel to the Western Open. Coach Francis Clayton is very proud of his athletes and is excited to see them prove themselves among the top in their respective weight classes in the coming weeks before OUAs.