Brock University’s wrestling program cemented its status as a full-fledged dynasty, as 10 Brock wrestlers won gold in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) finals. The men’s team won their eighth straight OUA championship on February 16th at Brock Univesity.“I’m just happy to see my team happy,” said Richard Deschatelets, the team’s head coach and Brock’s assistant athletic director.
The women won their second straight championship, with Julie Harris (48 kg), Heather Sweezey (53 kg), Tonya Verbeek (57 kg), Laura Jones (70 kg) taking gold.
Megan Dolan (65 kg) took silver, Mary Kleinendorst (77 kg) bronze, and rookie Jen Aitken (61 kg) placed fifth.
Taking gold for the men’s side were: Clint Kingsbury (54 kg), Jay Allin (57 kg), James Pernal (61 kg), Kyle Sweezey (65 kg), Ryan Weicker (68 kg) and Steve Snyders (90 kg). Adam Fera (82 kg) won silver, while Nicholas Cryer (72 kg), Joel Landry (76 kg) and Phil Vandenbeukel (HWT) placed fifth.
While the victory was unquestionable, Deschatelets’ happiness was tempered by the few who did not go on.
“[It’s] not from lack of trying … they gave their very best, but came up short,” he said. “I feel for them. I know how much they put in.”
Deschatelets credits much of the team’s strength to strong coaching by assistant coach Marty Calder, who also coaches the Niagara Wrestling Club, and help by area coaches, including strong high school programs.
Calder knows that competing at the national level will be a challenge for his squad.
“It won’t be a walk in the park because the other teams will provide tight and emotional competition that we haven’t seen in the past, we’ll have to be at our best to achieve our goals.”
Both Deschatelets and Calder have numerous OUA and CIAU Coach of the year honours under their belts. Deschatelets however attributes this season’s success purely to hard work on the wrestlers’ parts.
“It’s very demanding … When you step on the mat you don’t have a team to stand behind,” he said. “If you’ve got pride, you don’t want to come up short.”
The men’s team now looks to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union finals, where they hope for a fourth straight victory. Brock will host the CIAU finals next year, and he says this has contributed to the excitement around the sport.
Calder says that the team is “amalgamating mental and physical abilities and don’t need the physical because we’ve been doing that for seven months.
“We’ve been doing mental things like scouting and watching video tapes for the year so that we know the stronger athletes.”
Both teams are free from injuries, so the coaches are highly optimistic about their squads continued success at the national level.
Calder says Brock is, “trying to be the first institution to win men’s and woman’s titles. There’s a lot on the line but if we perform well we may be able to something really special.”
The CIAU finals take place Saturday, Mar. 2 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.