Dinos lose team gold by a whisker

By Kris Kotarski

In the end, it all came down to one match, by any wrestler, from any team.

In what was surely the closest Canadian Interuniversity Sport Wrestling Championship ever, Brock University won the men’s team title with 61 points, beating the University of Calgary’s total of 60, and Simon Fraser University’s 59. Any match by any wrestler from these three schools could have changed the final outcome of the tourney.

SFU led the way in individual golds in their first year of CIS competition. Four wrestlers, Chris Harada (72kg), Danny Einhorn (82kg), Roozbeh Banihashimi (90kg), and Mikael Abdul-Latif (130kg)won gold medals. Brock had three gold medals, a silver, and three bronze, and Calgary finished with two medals of each colour.

As expected, veterans Mike Stitt (57kg) and David Kooperberg (76kg) carried the Dinos on their shoulders. Stitt defended his number-one ranking with a gold and Kooperberg won his fourth consecutive national title as well as Male Outstanding Wrestler honours. The five year veteran finished his amazing career on an winning note, no surprise as he has only ever lost one CIS match, the national final in his rookie year.

Dinos Head Coach Mitch Ostberg took home silverware as well. The veteran coach was named Male Coach of the Year after guiding Calgary to the Canada West Conference title. The Dinos edged out SFU at the conference finals and Ostberg got the nod because the Dinos were certainly not expected to achieve that level of success.

Calgary also finished second on the women’s side; however, the Dinos were nowhere close to a national title. The women finished without an individual gold medal and only Erica Sharp (61kg) managed a silver. Stacey Williamson (48kg) and Andrea Ross (53kg) each won the bronze which was enough for second place, but not anywhere close to SFU.

The biggest surprise for the Dinos were the silver medals of Jeremy Rudack (130kg) and Damon Booth (68kg). Both wrestlers had a spectacular tournament, and both took amazing strides to reach their national finals. Booth fell to Brock’s Evan Macdonald in the tourney’s final match, while Rudack lost to SFU’s Abdul-Latif by a slim 4-1 margin.

Rounding out the placements for the Dinos were Joe Bentley (65kg) and Ryan Andrusky (82kg) who took bronze. Rookie Huy Nguyen (54kg) was sixth, Tony Baldwin (72kg) came fifth, and Beamer Comfort (90kg) finished fourth. On the women’s side, Kate Eckfeldt (57kg) finished sixth and Kelsey Andries (77kg) came fourth.’Major Award Winners

Men’s Coach of the Year– Mitch Ostberg, CALGARY

Women’s Coach of the Year– Mike Jones, SFU

Outstanding Male Wrestler– David Kooperberg, CALGARY

Outstanding Female Wrestler– Tara Hedican, Guelph

Outstanding Male Rookie– Jamie Macari, Brock

Outstanding Female Rookie– Sara White, SFU

Fair Play Award — Jamie Macari, Brock / Mickey Jutras, Sakatchewan / Roozbeh Banihashimi, SFU

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