Parkside captures overall team title, girls' team banner and qualify eight athletes
for OFSAA, while St. Joe's has five and Central Elgin sends two
Thursday, February 20th, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
LONDON, ON. - Julie Boyko used a Houdini-like move to escape a near pin, Gavin Eldridge kept quick on his feet and Brady Johnson seized an opportunity.
Boyko (64-kg), Eldridge (61-kg), Johnson (130-kg) are returning to OFSAA, after qualifying at the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA) wrestling championships, at Banting Secondary School.
Nine athletes will represent Parkside at OFSAA, the high school provincial championships, March 2-4, in Sault Ste. Marie.
Joining the trio of OFSAA returnees for the trip north, are gold medalist Jeremy Anderson (boys' 44-kg), silver medalists Cole Moore (boys' 89-kg), Cadence Hardwick (girls' 44-kg) and Emma Penner (girls' 77-kg) and Kira Buck (third, girls' 83-kg).
The St. Joseph's Rams send five athletes to OFSAA, silver medalists Emma Lee (girls' 57.5-kg), Krystian Krzyzewski (boys' 85-kg) and Ryder Dennison (boys' 44-kg), Claire Vankoughnett (third, 44-kg) and Liv Cracchoilo (third, girls' 115-kg).
The Central Elgin Titans will be represented by gold medalist Iman Zebian (girls' 67.5-kg) and Nefi Islami (third, boys' 44-kg).
Parkside brought home the WOSSAA overall combined team title. The Lady Stampeders were team champions, while the boys were second behind London Saunders.
Eldridge made short work of his 61-kilogram class including defeating Stratford's Reeve Houle in the gold medal match.
"I beat him earlier in the season so I was thinking, stay calm you got this, pretty much telling myself that I was good enough to win this match," Eldridge said. "I was quick with my shots. Getting in there quick and being faster than the other guy."
An OFSAA silver medalist at 57.5-kilograms last year, Eldridge felt pressure moving up a weight class but didn't think of it during matches.
Johnson repeats as the 130-kilogram champion, pinning Clarke Road's Davonte Hurst in the gold medal match.
"It just came up and I took the opportunity I had and worked my way," Johnson said. "It feels great to finish on top at WOSSAA in my last year."
Boyko appeared to locked down by London Laurier Ram Sabrina Mills in the girls' 64-kilogram final, before using skill, strength and likely some magic to turn her match around.
"I just bridged really hard, hurt my back doing it, twisted some how out of it and on top of her," Boyko said. "I didn't want to wrestle the challenge match because those always suck to wrestle. That kind of pushed me harder. I was out near the edge, so I thought if I go hard enough I could go out (of bounds), but instead I got on top of her and ended up pinning her."
Boyko moves up a step from silver a year ago.
"I was relieved and full of joy. That was an amazing match," said Boyko.
Although OFSAA was a goal, Zebian wasn't sure if she's advance that far, considering she didn't wrestle in Grade nine.
"I'm so happy. I'm so excited to go to OFSAA . That was my passion, but I was off for a year. I hoped to do well at WOSSAA," Zebian said. "I have so many supporters here (WOSSAA). My family, like my mom (Mervat), people who don't normally get to see me. I do this for myself, but I like making people proud."
St. Joe's Lee endured two tough matches for her spot at OFSAA. After losing the girls' 57.5-kilogram gold medal match to Teagan VanZantvoort, of Woodstock College Avenue, Lee had to defeat Parkside''s Kenzie Kilmer in a challenge match.
"(VanZantvoort) dominated the whole match. She has a lot more experience. It was a tough one. I lost to her at TVRA, so I went in thinking I was going to lose," said Lee, who required the entire four minutes to edge Kilmer on points. "I'm excited that I made it. I didn't come thinking I'd make it. I almost gave up, but I really wanted to go to OFSAA."
Kilmer defeated Banting's Samantha Spylo, in the bronze medal match, before challenging Lee for the OFSAA spot.
If a wrestler wins the bronze medal match, a challenge to the gold medal match loser can be made, if the two wrestlers had not already fought earlier at the meet.
Parkside's Emma Rodgers (girls' 67.5-kg), Gillian De Schutter (girls' 51-kg), Bryanna Cooprt (girls' 72-kg) and Paul Moore (boys' 95-kg), each won their bronze medal match, but could not challenge.
Stampeders Allison Lawton (girls' 72-kg), Sierra McGahan (girls' 83-kg), Ethan Scott (boys' 61-kg) and Gunnar Macleod (boys' 130-kg), were fourth. Avery Jackson (girls' 54-kg) and Alexandria Broderick (girls' 67.5-kg), Logan Taylor (boys' 77-kg) and Tyler Dale (boys' 57.5-kg), placed fifth. Ellie Daniel (girls' 57.5-kg) was sixth.
Rams Mary Clare Haasan (girls' 64-kg) and Diago Silva (boys' 64-kg), both finished fourth, while Ella Jakobi was sixth (girls' 54-kg).
Titan Clark Jackson finished third in the boys' 72-kilogram division.
Dorchester's Nick Lynch placed third in the boys' 38-kilogram class and Nathan Askew, fourth, in boys' 77-kilos.
London CCH's Kendall Detloff (gold, girls' 54-kg) Arva Medway's Wesley Demelo (gold, boys' 57.5-kg) were named female and male Most Outstanding Wrestlers at WOSSAA.
London Central's Noah Gray and Banting's Medini Sakiri, were named male and female recipients of the new Harry Geris Award, recognizing exceptional contribution to wrestling. Parkside's Maddie King was a finalist.
includes both Thames Valley conferences and
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