St. Joe's Meehan most outstanding female at TVRA Michienzi Conference wrestling
while Dorchester's Bisschop takes the male award in the Geris Conference
Thursday, February 14, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Kailey Meehan was looking for a challenge. Along the way the St. Joseph's Ram was named most outstanding female wrestler.
Meehan was the girls' 57.5-kilogram champion, going undefeated at the Thames Valley Regional Athletics Michienzi Conference championships, Friday, at Parkside C.I.
The top six in each weight category go on to the WOSSAA tournament, at London Saunders Secondary School, February 22nd. (List of qualifiers below.) Complete Michienzi Conference results
"I wanted to do my best and see what happens. I was really surprised. I don't know what to say. Last year I got fourth place, so this is kind of a surprise. I didn't expect to win this award," said Meehan. "Every year at WOSSAA I've got second place, so maybe I can get first place this year. If I make it to OFSAA I like to do better than my first time."
Experience at WOSSAA and OFSAA has refined her strategies.
"A lot of my mental game has changed. I think clearly out on the mat more than I used too," Meehan said. "I used to go out there and my mind was a mess and now I take my time and think about what I'm doing out there. That's my biggest improvement."
Kam Gurung, of London Banting, was the most outstanding male wrestler, winning the boys' 95-kilogram division.
Meehan, along with Mary Clare Haasen, girls' 64-kilogram winner, helped the St. Joe's girls placed third behind team champion Banting and Parkside.
"We are super happy she was won the award," Rams' coach Wolf Schweitzer said. "It's a product of four years of wrestling and working hard. She'll be a contender to get to OFSAA (from WOSSAA)."
The host Stampeders were third overall as a team, behind London Saunders and Banting, by six individual champions: Steph Boyko (girls' 67.5-kg), Payton Brodie-Grubb (girls' 61-kg), and Maddie King (girls' 47.5-kg); Gavin Eldridge (57.5kg), Brady Johnson (130-kg) and Cole Moore (83-kg).
"We did well. We have 17 moving on to WOSSAA," Parkside coach Alicia Rowlands said. "We have a lot of rookies this year (and) they did a lot better than we thought. We had a lot of snow days so we haven't had a lot of practice, but they wrestled better than expected."
Boyko and Eldridge wasn't little time compiling their undefeated records.
"I felt good and I felt I was in the zone, super focused and I'm hitting all of my moves properly, not sloppy and tired," said Boyko, who won by a 10-0 count and a pair of pins. "I'm super excited for next week WOSSAA) if I can keep this up."
Eldridge gave his day an eight or nine out of 10, aiming to clean up his technique for WOSSAA.
"I could have done better in some positions, like over-unders, or if I was in a front head and arm and I was just getting stuck and couldn't do anything. It's just about getting back to practice," said the two-time OFSAA competitor. "There is no one you can count out of it (at WOSSAA), because any one can be beaten on any day, so it's everyone I have to be mentally prepared for."
One of the rookies is Boyko's sister, Julie, who placed third in the 57.5-kg class.
"I told her to stick to the basics and not to try anything too fancy, because when you try the fancy stuff that's when the experienced kids will catch you. Stick to what she knows because she's being doing well so far," said Steph, who placed third at Conference in her first year in Grade 10. "She's doing that in Grade nine, so she's going to be better than me some day and that worries me."
Steph also pointed out first year wrestlers Starr Robinson and Emma Rodgers for their performances.
"They won matches and they'll doing actual good moves and quality stuff and surprised everybody."
St. Joe's placed fourth in the combined team standings.
"We are a younger squad this year, with lots of Grade nines and 10's, but we wrestled really, really well today. Good technical wrestling and the kids wrestled their hearts out," said Schweitzer. "Our results aren't as strong as the last couple of years have been but not for any lack of effort or intensity. The kids were fantastic today."
Ram Kristian Krzewski (89-kg) was a champion, while Jacob Smits (44-kg), Anthony Meglic (57.5) and Claire Vankoughnett (girls' 47.5) took home silver medals.
"Over the course of the season Diago Silva as a Grade nine did fantastic," said Schweitzer. "He had matches against older opponents and wrestled really well. Mary Claire Haasen won gold and she has worked hard the past couple years."
The Rams have developed such a strong program, wrestlers from London schools Mother Teresa and CCH, train with the team.
At the TVRA Geris Conference championships hosted by Clarke Road Secondary School, in London, Dorchester's Owen Bisschop was named most outstanding male wrestler, going undefeated in the 67.5-kilogram class.
"I was surprised honestly," said Bisschop, who almost left the meet before the awards presentation. "It was a very nice surprise. I was very happy about that, very humbled."
Bisschop won all four of his matches by pin.
"I wrestled well. My gold medal match I finished with an ankle pick," said Bisschop, who pinned London Beal's Ammon Grosbeck in the second round. "This year I feel I'm a little stronger. I've had more practice on the mat for sure."
A year ago at conference, Bisschop won gold at 72-kilograms, before placing fourth at WOSSAA. Dropping down a weight class for this season, the Grade 12 student in his fourth year of wrestling is aiming for higher results.
"I want to win WOSSAA hopefully, or if I at least come second, I'll be going to OFSAA."
Bisschop is one of nine Dorchester wrestlers (see below) advancing from TVRA. Complete Geris Conference results
"His competitors were all worthy opponents, First to last match were all excellent opportunities for Owen to demonstrate his skill at wrestling," Dorchester coach Jack Gunnell said. "As a team, the team points (male) has us just nine points out of first overall. We could have won some matches we lost, but overall it was a great day."
Cole Moore, first, 83kg; Gavin Eldridge, first, 57.5-kg; Brady Johnson, first, 130-kg; Maddie King, first, girls' 47.5-kg; Payton Brodie-Grubb, first, 61-kg; Steph Boyko, first, 67.5-kg; Emma Penner, second, girls' 61-kg; Julie Boyko, third, girls' 61-kg; Isaiah Gordon, third, 44-kg; Logan Wilson, third, 54-kg; Nathan Uytterlinde, third, 83-kg; John Liam Jones, third, 95-kg; Paul Moore, fourth, 95-kg; Kira Buck, fourth, girls' 83-kg; Emma Rodgers, fourth, girls' 67.5-kg; Star Robinson, fourth, 61kg; Logan Taylor, fifth, 72kg; Cole Burton, sixth, 72-kg.
Kristian Krzewski, first, 89-kg; Mart Clare Haasen first, girls' 64-kg; Kailey Meehan, first girls' 57.5-kg ;Noah Foley, third, 47.5kg; Liam Bacon, third, 61-kg; Ivana Csinos, third, girls' 64-kg; Rowan Murray, third, girls' 54-kg; Natalie Wilkins, fourth, girls' 54-kg; Nolan Giesbrecht, fourth, 72kg; Jesse Cummings, fifth, 77-kg; Jenna Lynch, sixth, girls' 61-kg; Diago Silva, sixth, 61-kg;
Kendra Lidster, first, girls' 72-kg; Dalton Holt, second, 83-kg; Adam Holt, second, 89-kg; Adelay Belanger, third, 77-kg; Clark Jackson, fifth, 54-kg.
Owen Bisschop, first, 67.5-kg; Nick Lynch, first, 38-kg; Kolton Reading, second, 38-kg; Owen Lynch, second, 47.5; Nathan Askew, second, 72; Liam Devine, third, 54-kg; Josh Smith ,third, 72-kg; Eric Rutton, fourth, 130-kg; Zach Mason, sixth, 61-kg.