While wrestlers from other universities were busy setting their own records, the Dinos were on the warpath. At the 2005 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Wrestling Championship Mar. 4-5 at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario, they claimed many victims on their way to an impressive medal haul that would make Team Canada's tally at the Athens Olympics look like crap.
Led by their captain, Joe Bentley, both the men and women ravaged the competition and fought their way past some of the nation's best grapplers. The Dinos men managed eighth place with 27 points. The host Badgers took the championship with an astounding 69 points.
Our ladies came oh so close, taking second to the Simon Fraser University Clan. The Clan's 50 point total was plenty to topple the Dinos, who raked in 34, edging the Badgers out by two. While some of our intrepid warriors fell to the wayside in honourable combat, a few came out on top.
The men, led by a gold medal performance by Huy Nguyen in the 54kg division, fought bravely. Damon Booth emerged with silver in the 68kg class and Bentley bronzed in the 65kg group. While their numbers were small, their spirit was still clearly focused on victory.
The women fared better in hacking and slashing their way to the podium, with a few surprises along the way. Brit Laverdure slayed three-time national champion Heather Sweezey from the Badgers in the 57kg division. However, Krista Wells, last year's CIS champ in the 48kg division, went down in the final round at the hands of her SFU rival.
This may have contributed to the Dinos losing the overall women's national title to the hated Clan. Other stellar performances however, such as Justine "Sleeveless" Bouchard's bronze in the 61kg division and Andrea Ross's silver in the 53kg division were more than enough to cover any disappointment.
While the CIS season is over, this tournament will only serve as a reminder of what Canada has to offer in terms of university wrestling and what the team will be up against next season when the grappling begins all over again.