HAMILTON, ON -- The Brock Badgers didn’t just defend their OUA banners in both the men’s and women’s fields Saturday. They ran away with them.
Looking to repeat as OUA wrestling champions at McMaster’s Therese Quigley Sport Hall, the U Sports no. 1-ranked Brock blew their competition away en route to both titles. The Brock women won their third straight title while it was the second banner in as many seasons for the men.
The Badgers 98 points in the men’s standings won them the Porter Trophy by a 23-point margin, with nine male medalists and eight divisional champions. Brock’s women were similarly dominant, scoring 76 points to silver-medalists Guelph’s 45, and gaining at least silver in each of the eight women’s weight classes while winning six outright.
"It was one of the best performances by any team I have coached at the OUA's," said Brock head coach Marty Calder. "The kids have committed themselves to the pursuit of excellence and we saw the results today. We look forward to the National Championships in two weeks and the challenges that we will face.
Coming away from their home facility with hardware, the hosts from McMaster finished second in the men’s standings to repeat as OUA silver medalists, while the Western Mustangs won bronze.
The women’s podium was a carbon copy of a year earlier, with the Guelph Gryphons returning to the silver-medal position and the Mustangs winning the bronze.
Providing an emotional highlight for the champions, Brock’s 76kg representative Tyler Rowe blanked his long-time rival Ahmed Shamiya, the veteran star of the host Marauders, in the final bout of the day to capture gold.
The two had met in each of the past two CIS Championship finals, with Shamiya winning both of those meetings, but it was Rowe who rode the wave of a boisterous cheering section to a signature win.
Brock’s men added golds through Sam Jagas (57kg), Chris McIssac (61kg), Mizam Tamaradze (65kg), Matt Jagas (68kg), Cruiz Manning (72kg), Jevon Balfour (82kg) and Ignatius Pitt (100kg), and reached the podium of all but two weight classes.
Their inability to better the Badgers in the afternoon’s finals consigned the host Marauders to silver as a team, with Joban Phulka (90kg) providing the team’s lone gold medal.
Western grabbed the bronze on the strength of nine podium places, led by Kyle Bonk-Dann’s victory over Mac’s Ameen Aghamirian for gold at 120kg, and Caleb Rutner’s silver at 68kg.
The gold-medal convoy of Tina McLaren (51kg), Hannah Taylor (55kg), Emily Schaefer (59kg), Jessica Broulliette (63kg), Indira Moores (67kg) and Zoe Forsyth (82kg) helped the Badgers coast to the top of the women’s podium Saturday.
When a Badger woman did not claim gold, it was because a Gryphon beat her to it. The two finals in which Brock lost went the way of Guelph’s Natassya Lu (48kg) and Gracelynn Doogan (72kg). That fact, and the addition of three other medals, helped the Gryphons to team silver.
Just five points back of Guelph, Western took bronze in the women’s field on the strength of three silver medals from Olivia Cirillo (82kg), Michalia Walls (67kg) and Julie Steffler (55kg), and Christine Grafe’s bronze at 48kg.
Breaking up the oligarchy on the podium, Lakehead grabbed gold in the men’s 54kg class through Marco Palermo, and added bronze from Kevin Leatherdale (61kg) and Jessica Bershatsky (51kg).
Not to be outdone, Ryerson provided the upset of the event when Sunny Narwal denied Brock’s Benny Ferrara bronze at 120kg, providing the Rams a gift for the road trip home.
Given his team’s sweep of the podium, it came as no shock that Brock’s Marty Calder swept the Coach of the Year award, taking home his eighth men’s honour and ninth women’s.
Capped by her gold at 48kg, Lu’s strong showing Saturday netted her the Women’s Outstanding Wrestler of the Year honour, while Taylor, shining at her first go-round at the OUA Championships, was awarded as Women’s Rookie of the Year.
On the men’s side, Shamiya was recognized in his final appearance at the event with Men’s Outstanding Wrestler of the Year, while Palermo’s heroics for the Thunderwolves earned him a Rookie of the Year nod.
Mac’s Phulka and York’s Petra Woods were recognized for their efforts away from the mat with the OUA Community Service Awards.
Women’s Rookie of the Year – Hannah Taylor – Brock
Women’s Outstanding Wrestler – Natyssa Lu – Guelph
Men’s Rookie of the Year – Marco Palermo – Lakehead
Men’s Outstanding Wrestler – Ahmed Shamiya – McMaster
Coach of the Year – Women and Men – Marty Calder – Brock
Women’s Community Service Award – Petra Woods - York
Men’s Community Service Award – Joban Phulka - McMaster
Male - 54kg
Gold - Marco Palermo of Lakehead
Silver - Rob Smith of McMaster
Bronze - Chris Nikolaou of Western
Male - 57kg
Gold - Sam Jagas of Brock
Silver - Kyle Robinson of Guelph
Bronze - Kais Al-khaldi of McMaster
Male - 61kg
Gold - Chris McIssac of Brock
Silver - Elvir Uzunovic of Guelph
Bronze - Kevin Leatherdale of Lakehead
Male - 65kg
Gold - Mizam Tamaradze of Brock
Silver - Erik Joy of McMaster
Bronze - Lauchlin MacDonald of Western
Male - 68kg
Gold - Matt Jagas of Brock
Silver - Caleb Rutner of Western
Bronze - Alexander Chaves of Guelph
Male - 72kg
Gold - Cruiz Manning of Brock
Silver - Bennet Zahra of McMaster
Bronze - Brayden Ambo of Western
Male - 76kg
Gold - Tyler Rowe of Brock
Silver - Ahmed Shamiya of McMaster
Bronze - Dan Humphrey of Guelph
Male - 82kg
Gold - Jevon Balfour of Brock
Silver - Bradley MaGarrey of McMaster
Bronze - Kevin Marshall of Western
Male - 90kg
Gold - Joban Phulka of McMaster
Silver - Clayton Pye of Brock
Bronze - Eric Jacobson of Western
Male - 100kg
Gold - Ignatius Pitt of Brock
Silver - Arjun Sahota of Western
Bronze - Job Reinhart of Guelph
Male - 120kg
Gold - Kyle Bonk-Dann of Western
Silver - Ameen Amagharian of McMaster
Bronze - Sunny Narwal of Ryerson
Female - 48kg
Gold - Natassya Lu of Guelph
Silver - Farrantina Gatta of Brock
Bronze - Christine Grafe of Western
Female - 51kg
Gold - Tina Mclaren of Brock
Silver - Monica Wood of McMaster
Bronze - Jessica Bershatsky of Lakehead
Female - 55kg
Gold - Hannah Taylor of Brock
Silver - Julie Steffler of Western
Bronze - Chelsey Sicard of Guelph
Female - 59kg
Gold - Emily Schaefer of Brock
Silver - Cierra Carere of Guelph
Bronze - Jenna Leslie of McMaster
Female - 63kg
Gold - Jessica Broulliette of Brock
Silver - Nicole Roach of McMaster
Bronze - Rhiannon Digweed of Guelph
Female - 67kg
Gold - Indira Moores of Brock
Silver - Michalia Walls of Western
Bronze - Charlene Forde-Smith of McMaster
Female - 72kg
Gold - Gracelynn Doogan of Guelph
Silver - Shauna Kuebeck of Brock
Bronze - Brooke Jarrett of Toronto
Female - 82kg
Gold - Zoe Forsythe of Brock
Silver - Olivia Cirillo of Western
Bronze - Maddy Delle-Donne of York