Wet. Wrestlers Bring Home Gold
After being personally selected to compete in a tournament in Calgary, Millet's own Colton and Nakai McDonnell both returned home with gold medals. The brothers were the only Alberta wrestlers to walk away with the gold belt buckles at the Stu Hart Tournament of Champions Jan. 2 to 4th.
Alberta hosted top teams from Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as the athletes had a chance to see who they might be seeing at nationals this coming April. As the host province, Alberta had two teams competing. Wetaskiwin's Jon Risto (56 kilogram class) and Nakai (48 kilogram class) both wrestled on Alberta Gold, while Colton (50 kilogram class) was a part of the Alberta Blue group.
All the wrestlers spent one and a half days training with each other before the tournament even began, explained Cari McDonnell, Nakai and Colton's mother.
"Coaches like, Mitch Osberg, head wrestling coach for the University of Calgary Dinos, were on hand to assist with the training," she added.
Wetaskiwin coaches Shamus McDonnell and Shane Rybak were on hand during the tournament but had to watch the action from the sidelines.
Part of the tournament experience for the athletes was learning to listen to and understand directions from other coaches in their corners.
"Yeah it was a little tough, especially when they made a few mistakes, you want to help them out but it's important for them to learn how to work with other coaches," explained Shamus.
During the tournament itself, the team from British Columbia had an exceptionally strong team and easily captured first place overall.
"B.C. came with a strong team and dominated," said Shamus. "The two boys from Wetaskiwin and one from Ontario were the only three not from British Columbia to get gold medals," he added.
"(Nakai and Colton) were the only two wrestlers to pin any of the B.C. wrestlers in the tournament," explained Cari. The third Wetaskiwin wrestler, Risto, placed fourth.
This was Colton's third time in the Stu Hart Tournament. In 2012, he won a bronze medal in the individual standings and was aware of the pressure to win gold this year, Cari explained. She added that at one point during the tournament, feeling weak from dehydration, first aid personnel tested Colton's blood sugar level to ensure he was fit to compete. A burst of potassium from a few extra bananas brought back enough strength to technically finish above the rest, she said.
Shamus said that the Stu Hart Tournament can be a preview for the upcoming Canada Games trials in May.
While the wrestlers for the trials won't be selected until after national sin April, but coach Shamus said he is optimistic members of the Wetaskiwin team will be selected to compete.
- Beaumont Rugby Girls Bounce Back After two early loses the Beaumont Bandit Girls’ Rugby team defeated Paul Kane of St. Albert 32 to 12 on Tuesday, May 12th to end the round robin in league play with two straight victories and a two win and two lost record. ...
- Leduc Girls, Soccer Win The Leduc Girls’ Soccer team won their first game of the season when they defeated the Louis St. Laurent Barons is a closely contested game 2 goals to 1 on Tuesday, May 14th. The Tigers controlled the game for the most ...
- QE Junior High Track Meet “Gr. 7 Corbin Diprose Gets Ready to Heave Javelin” Spring fever is running rampant in junior high schools across our region. Kids struggle to stay focused in classrooms while school years start to wind down. If you have ...
- Rugby Action Begins High School Rugby began last week with a number of games. The Leduc girls hosted Fort Saskatchewan on Tuesday, May 7th and ran out to and early lead, but were stung late in the game by the Stingers as Fort Saskatchewan ...
- WHL Bantam Draft Picks Local Player The annual ritual of the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft was held on May 2nd. Elite Bantam hockey players from Western Canada and the US were on the radar screen. WHL teams such as the Edmonton Oil Kings, Red Deer ...
- Sabres Den Project Needs Support How about a sports team without heat, running water or washrooms in their dressing room? Welcome to the plight of the Wetaskiwin Composite High School Football Sabres. For the past number of years the Sabres have used the ...