PCI's Brodie-Grubb overcomes injury to win her weight class at conference
while Lady Rams repeat as team wrestling champions
Friday, February 16, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - A few months ago Payton Brodie-Grubb felt she may not wrestle again, let alone be a top wrestler at a championship meet.
The Parkside Stampeder was the most outstanding female wrestler, capturing the gold medal in the girls' 61-kilogram class, at the Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) Michienzi Conference wrestling championships, in front of a home crowd, at Parkside Collegiate Institute.
Quite the impressive return, as it was just in December when an injury put the Grade 12 student's season in jeopardy.
"Today was kind of a trial because I got injured. I tore a muscle in my shoulder, so it was to see if I was able to compete again," Brodie-Grubb said. "I haven't been able to practice so it's feels really good to come back and compete."
Brodie-Grubb who went 3-0, including taking out Zelnab Zammar, of London Banting, in the final, was surprised to hear her name announced for the top wrestler award.
"I'm just glad I'm able to do the sport I love. Final year and I didn't know if I was able to finish it because of my injury but I'm glad I can," said Brodie-Grubb. "I was giving everything."
A year ago at WOSSAA, Brodie-Grubb won gold, in the 61-kg class.
Although still not 100 percent healthy, she is still eyeing OFSAA, the high school provincial championships.
"That's my goal. I'll try my best even with my injury."
The top five in each weight class at conference, move on to WOSSAA, Friday, February 23, at London Banting secondary school. From WOSSAA, earning a spot at OFSAA is more challenging, with only the top two in each class advancing.
Gavin Eldridge shares the goal of returning to OFSAA and also made the step closer to achieving the feat.
Eldridge, a Grade 10 student, went 3-0, in the 57.5 kilogram class, taking matches by a pin and scores of 12-1 and 10-0.
"My first match I didn't feel I wrestled that well. But I got better and better throughout the day," Eldridge said. "On the ground, gut wrenches were working really well today and my takedowns were working well."
A year ago at OFSAA, Eldridge went 2-2, in the 54-kg class, after taking home a silver from WOSSAA.
"I have to stay smart, stay within my limits and wrestle hard," said Eldridge, on a possible return to OFSAA.
Eldridge feels five or six of his PCI teammates have potential to advance to OFSAA.
Led by Eldridge and Daniel Rattrey, who was 4-0, in the 89-kg division, the Parkside boys placed third at conference.
Rattrey bested teammates John Liam Jones and Paul Moore, who placed second and third, respectively, in the 89-kg division.
Also placing within the top five, for the Stampeder boys were: Brady Johnson, second, 130-kg; Gunnar MacLeod, second, 77-kg; Cole Moore, third, 83-kg; Gavin Tapsell, third, 64-kg; Logan Tayler, fourth, 64-kg.
Maddie King took the girls' 44-kg crown, while Stephanie Boyko, was second in 67.5-kg girls and Emma Penner, third, 57.5-kg girls.
CONFERENCE TEAM CHAMPS
The St. Joseph's Rams repeated as girls team champions, led by three gold medalists, MacKenzie Miller, in the 115-kilogram class; Alex Cooper, 83-kg and Nikky Laframboise, 47.5-kg.
"We're super happy. I wasn't sure what the result would be this year. The girls worked super hard and definitely a credit to all of the Grade nine and grade 10 girls who finished in the third, fourth and fifth places. That really secured the title for us," St. Joe's coach Wolf Schweitzer. "Four girls (Miller, Cooper, Laframboise, Kailey Meehan) who were here all qualified for OFSAA last year. They're all looking good to wrestle again at OFSAA this year, but we have tough matches coming up next week. We have a few rookie hopefuls, but WOSSAA is really tough.
"This will hopefully push us to repeat as WOSSAA champs. It's going to be hard, but we're going to give our best shot."
Rounding out the conference champion team is, Meehan, second, 54-kg; Christine McGraw, second, 83-kg; Claire VanKoughnett, third, 47.5-kg; Breanne Keogh, third, 72-kg; Rowan Murray, fourth, 57.5-kg; Emma Lee, fourth, 54-kg; Mary Claire Haasen, third, 61-kg; Ella Jakobi, fifth, 47.5-kg; Kelsey Rhody, sixth, 61-kg; Ivanna Csinos, fifth, 61-kg.
"St. Joe's worked very hard today," Schweitzer added. "I'm very happy with how the kids wrestled overall. It was a tough tournament. We lost in a lot of tough matches for bronze and the fifth sixth place. We're a younger team this year. A lot of the rookies progressed really well. We're happy for them."
St. Joe's qualifiers in the boys' divisions were: Kristian Krzyzewski, second, 95-kg; Greg Lake, third, 54-kg; Perry Murray, third, 89-kg; Tyler Johnston, third, 51-kg; Nolan Giesbrecht, fourth, 67.5-kg; Isaac Quentin, fourth, 67.5-kg; Joshua Helkaa, third, 130-kg; Jesse Cummings, fifth, 89-kg;
The Central Elgin Titans had two champions with 5-0 records, with Sam Gutmanis taking the boys' 83-kg division and Dalton Holt, the boys' 77-kg class.
Titans' Tory Spry, fourth, 47.5-kg girls and Adam Holt, fourth, 83-kg boys, also move on to WOSSAA.
Four athletes with represent the Arthur Voaden Vikings: Brianna Thompson, second, 77-kg girls; Cadence MacLeod; 115-kg girls; Geneva Brown, 115-kg girls; Mitchell VanBelle, fifth, 77-kg boys.
The Michienzi Conference featured Parkside, Central Elgin, St. Joe's and Arthur Voaden, along with several London schools.
Saunders won the overall title, powered by their boys' team, led by Donald George, the male wrestler of the meet. London Banting placed second, for both the girls and boys divisions.
Lord Dorchester was at the TVRA Geris Conference championships, held at Medway high school, in Arva.
OFSAA is March 5-7, in Windsor.