Saturday, February 3rd, was a day of ups and downs for Wetaskiwin wrestlers at the Golden Bear High School /Junior High Invitational wrestling tournament.
The younger athletes placed well, although Coach Rybak singled out junior Willy Dormaar for having the best event for the Wetaskiwin team. “I think everyone gave a great effort but William showed some incredible tenacity and improved technique on his way to a gold medal performance in the 37 Kg weight class.”
First year wrestlers Darius Shuffler and Weston Pitcher may not have placed, but they showed great potential as they battled each competitor using the new skills they’ve been learning. Practices are based on repetition of moves and perfecting technique, and so these will become second nature with time as proven by Bronwyn Dormaar with her gold medal and Ethan Cullen with his bronze.
While senior Allen Paquette had his best showing of the High School season placing fourth in the 65 Kg Division, his teammates had a challenging event.
Kjel Gusdal battled back for the bronze medal in the 72 Kg division after losing an uncharacteristic match to Taran Goring of Fort Saskatchewan. “Kjel was battling a head cold and it really showed in his first match, but he recovered and battled back on the B side of the draw,” said coach Shamus McDonnell.
Jakob Dormaar in the 76 Kg weight class drew a rematch against fellow Canadian Cadet National finalist Magnus McCrackin from Edmonton for his first match of the day. “It’s unfortunate having that matchup to start the tournament, normally you would like to see those kids in the finals” said coach Rybak. Dormaar ended up losing the rematch to McCrackin via points but he had some definite improvement scoring six of his own points while previously being shut out by McCrackin at nationals.
Coach Rybak noted “The weight class was stacked featuring four national medalists, so you couldn’t have asked for a stronger test…just shows we have some things to work on.”
The high school athletes will be competing in Calgary next weekend, while the junior high athletes will be competing in the Alberta Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Feb. 16 – 19th.