author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
Women’s wrestling team takes home gold at Golden Bear Invitational
The women’s wrestling team has just competed in the Guelph open during the weekend of Jan. 21. Two of the wrestlers competing in the open were Miki Rowbottom, who wrestles in the 59 kg weight class, and Maeghan Wild, who wrestles in in the 63 kg weight class. Over the course of the Open, Rowbottom was able to get a record of 1-3 earning her the fourth-place position in her weight class as the Open ended. Wild was able to get the 6th place position in the event.
The women’s wrestling team had previously competed in the Golden Bear Invitational hosted by the University of Alberta Golden Bears . In the invitational, the Cougars placed first in the overall standings with 40 points overall, 3 points above the next best performing team, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Spectacular results were achieved by each of the five women wrestling for the Cougars, including Amber Wiebe who placed first in the women’s 51 kilogram weight class, Inga Hammer who was also able to get the first place position by the end of the invitational within the 72 kilogram weight class and Sara Tokarz who was able to get third place in the 48 kilogram class. Miki Rowbottom getting third place in the 59 Kilogram class, as well as Jessica Rabet, who achieved third place wrestling in the 82 kilogram division, round out the strong performances of the team.
Inga Hammar, when asked how it felt to claim the first-place title in her weight division, said, “It was very gratifying to achieve the gold medal finish at the Golden Bear. I had a difficult weight class, with some very talented wrestlers to face.”
When asked further if there were any challenges in the course of the invitational, she said, “The evening before the tournament we competed against the U of A in a dual meet at which time I lost my match against Haley Heffel. She was my first match at the tournament, so going into the matches I knew I had to start strong. I knew that if I could pull off a win against her, I would be in a good position to make it to the finals.”
“The match went well because I worked hard on listening to the directions of my coach (Leo McGee). After that win, I felt that I could likely come away with a gold. My second difficult match was the final against Georgina Nelthorpe, another gifted competitor. It was a hard-fought tournament for me, where I wrestled well against women with a proven track record of winning and international competition experience.”
Similarly, when asked how she felt about the results of the invitational, Amber Wiebe mentions her excitement for the victory.
“Feels good to win a weight class. This isn’t the first one I have won, but it always feels very good and like I’ve accomplished a lot. Winning the team title, however, was way more exciting as the women’s team is usually in the top three or four but never have we one a big tournament like this, and having everyone pull together and be able to win was amazing. Makes us just that more excited and determined this upcoming Canada West tournament.”
When asked how the team feels about their preparations for the Canada West meet, the women’s wrestling team approaching the event in the second place position in the country, Wiebe said, “Mentally it’s tough, not only are you competing for your team and a banner, but you are competing for yourself, and against yourself too and that’s really tough. For first-years (as I was one too), it is the hardest because your mind and your body and your heart are working so hard to come together for the team and for yourself. But we have good leaders and strong coaches on the team that help us.”