Wrestlers Battle Through Injuries At UofA Tournament
It was another well fought weekend for the Wetaskiwin Composite High School Sabres wrestling team, who competed last weekend at the University of Alberta's Golden Bear's High School Invitational tournament in Edmonton.
Wetaskiwin's Jon Risto brought home a gold medal in the 56 kilogram weight class.
"Jon had a fantastic tournament, not losing a single match and barely giving up any points against while cruising to take home the gold," explained Cari McDonnell, the team's unofficial spokesperson, and parent to wrestlers Colton and Nakai McDonnell.
Risto's first match of the tournament was against Hobbema’s novice wrestler, Austin Ermineskin. With Risto's win, it sent Ermineskin to the “B” side of the tournament.
"Austin made a great recovery, placing sixth overall," McDonnell said.
Colton McDonnell also brought home some hardware, placing second in the 53 kilogram weight group.
"Colton had a strong tournament ending with a silver medal in a hard fought match against nemesis Johnny Vo of Edmonton," Cari explained.
Colton won the first round 6-0, than succumbed to his opponent in the second and third rounds.
Even though Colton wasn't able to finish first against the Edmonton wrestler, Colton knows that Vo can be beat and will see him again at Provincials in March.
A bronze medal for the Wetaskiwin team was won by Morgan Reeves in the 90 kilogram weight class.
Despite wrestling in the heavier weight class than his usual 82 kg, Reeves had an outstanding tournament.
"After quickly pinning his opponent in his first match, Reeves lost his second match which then sent him to the B side of the tournament," McDonnell explained following the tournament.
Reeves then proceeded to win a long road of matches up the B side of the tournament to capture the bronze medal.
Also competing for the Sabres at the tournament were Hidde Van der Camp, Nakai McDonnell and Katherine Correia.
“Van der Camp had some bad luck with his draw, facing one of the top competitors in his weight from Whitecourt in the first match in the 72 kilogram weight class,” said McDonnell.
After the loss, Van der Camp wrestled the long way up the B side, but faced disappointment in the bronze medal match claiming fourth place overall.
The younger McDonnell made a decision to withdraw from the tournament after aggregating a recent injury in just his second match of the tournament.
"The Coaches believed it best for Nakai to withdraw from the tournament so that he would be healthy for the upcoming Rural Provincials in High River on Feb. 23," McDonnell said of her son's decision to withdraw.
As for Correia, plagued by injuries from the beginning of the season, this was Correia's first tournament with the Sabres in the 65 kilogram class.
"After pinning her opponent in her first match, Katherine lost two more thereby leaving her unsatisfied and off the podium," said McDonnell.
Overall, coaches Shane Rybak and Shamus McDonnell felt the kids did well and gained some valuable experience. For most of them, this was their first big tournament of the New Year and have had to fit practices in where they could around preparation for final exams and healing from injuries.
This weekend, the high school team will travel to Saskatoon, SK, for the Western Canadian High School Tournament.
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