Wrestling team performs well at OUA finals

Kenneth Grierson

Lakehead University’s wrestling team had a respectable showing at the OUA provincials held here in Thunder Bay on Saturday.

The women’s and men’s teams will now set their sights on the CIS nationals after coming in third and fourth, respectively, at this weekend’s provincials. The CIS nationals are being held at Lakehead in two weeks time.

On the men’s side, Gaston Tardif and Jason Bresele won gold for Lakehead in their weight classes while Dustin Helwig, Colten Woznow, and Trevor Steffler all took bronze. LU Wrestling coach Brock Curtis had expected Tardif to challenge for gold after collecting a silver and bronze medal over the last few years, and Tardif did not disappoint.

Curtis’s expectations for the women’s team were certainly met as well. Every girl medaled in their respective weight class and will compete at nationals. Aislynn Torfason and Nicole Plummer each earned a gold medal for their efforts while Jes Smith wrestled her way to silver.

Jessica Bershatsky, Alexi Kreps, and Karleah Bonk rounded out the women’s medals with bronze.

The women’s overall third place finish can be attributed to the fact that they only had six women competing in the eight possible weight classes. First place Brock had a wrestler in each category, but actually scored less individually than LU.

The men’s team should be buoyed by the fact that only seven points separated their fourth place result of 58 points from the first place showing of Guelph’s 65 points. Had a few more fights finished in the team’s favour, LU would be provincial champions.

Trevor Steffler was satisfied with his third place finish in the Men’s 130 kilogram weight class. This was the Geography student’s first year of competition.

“My goal was to be in the top three and to leave it all out there,” he said, and he did just that.

Though admittedly nervous before his matches, he said the nerves melted away as soon as the whistle blew and the match began.

Steffler explained that he doesn’t bother trying to size up his competition, and instead focuses on his own strategy.

“The best way to do it is you don’t size them up – you wrestle your style. Sure, it’s good to know if this guy likes to do this or that guy likes to do that, but you just want to wrestle your game plan. Be confident.”

Article photo by David Scherbarth, Argus