Want more stories like this? By becoming a Supporter, you help make that possible!
After earning themselves qualifications by placing top 6 at previous provincial championships or the Western Canada Age Class, this past weekend, five members of the local wrestling club competed at the Canadian National Wrestling Championships, held this year in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Taylor Mcleod, Roylene Oliarny, Braiden MacDougall, Connor White and Devon Shelkie all competed in the national competition, each earning the praise of head coach Paul Kalas, who said “this was the most successful Canadian National Championships we’ve ever had and our medal count was also the highest it’s ever been.”
Taylor Mcleod had the highest expectations to bring home a medal leading up to nationals, entering the tournament with an impressive record of 13 wins and only a single loss.
Mcleod put on a clinic in Fredericton, winning all of her matches to become the Canadian National Champion. In the finals, a couple of narrowly missed throws resulted in a first round loss, however, she kept her focus and controlled the pace of the match for round two, eventually pinning her opponent.
Coach Candace Fouilard talked about the stellar performance of Mcleod.
“She wrestled absolutely brilliantly, you should have seen the beautiful hip toss she used to pin her opponent.”
After claiming national supremacy, Mcleod has now set her goals on becoming undefeated next year and defending her National title in Saskatoon in April of next year.
Oliarny, who earned her spot at nationals by placing 4th in the B.C. High School Wrestling Championships, wrestled in one of the toughest women’s weight classes the national competition had to offer. After training extremely hard for the competition, she was unfortunately outwrestled by some very skilled, older and more experienced opponents. However, the loss has not deterred the young athlete, who is determined to move up in the rankings and make her return next year.
Following his qualification, MacDougall began an intense training regiment twice a day, something that benefited him at the national competition, as he used his superior cardio to his advantage. His conditioning, combined with a dominant ground game, earned him a spot in the tournament semi-finals.
Following a tough loss in the semis, MacDougall kept his spirits up and wrestled his way to a six place finish at his first ever national championship.
White’s entrance into the national championship came thanks to an impressive silver medal at the Western Canada age class, entering nationals with high hopes of a top ten finish. The skilled wrestler dominated the first couple of rounds using a variety of techniques like a power double and gut wrench combos.
He experienced his toughest challenge in the semis, losing an exciting and exhausting semi-final match in a close decision in the third and final round. A final match victory however earned him the designation as the fifth best wrestler of his weight class in the country.
Shelkie’s trip to nationals came thanks to a third place finish at the Western Canada age class. At nationals, a combination of smarts and a long reach worked to his advantage, wrestling all the way to the semi finals. Following his best performance of the year, he earned a fourth place finish at the national competition.
Thanks for reading!
Our goal is to cover all the local news and events happening in Northeast B.C. If you believe in this coverage, becoming a Supporter is a great way to help!
As a Supporter, you also get our investigative stories early and a FREE mug!