Brock wrestlers golden at senior and junior nationals
Richard DesChatelets Jr., shown in this file shot, won the Canadian 97-kilogram junior wrestling title in Montreal and was named the meets outstanding junior male wrestler. The Niagara Falls athlete also placed third in the senior division. Photos by BERNIE PUCHALSKI.
Three Brock Wrestling Club members won gold medals at the senior national wrestling championships Saturday in Montreal.
“The kids wrestled really well and it was a good weekend for Brock,” Brock head coach Marty Calder said. “And we had some athletes in Japan who wrestled really well too.”
Winning senior gold were St. Catharines native Kristina McLaren (53 kilograms), Juwan Burgess (79 kilograms) and Jevon Balfour (74 kilograms).
Brock’s men also won the senior team title.
Balfour won his second straight national title but needed a come-from-behind victory over Shawn Daye-Finley to do so.
“I feel like I wrestled pretty well. I knew I had good enough conditioning to come back and I did what I needed to do,” Balfour told the Wrestling Canada website. “I’m trying to win Commonwealth Games. I came second four years ago, when I was only 19. Now I’m 23, and I’ve got teammates like Korey (Jarvis) that believe in me and have been with me since 2014.”
Balfour was trailing 3-0 but ended up winning by a comfortable 11-3 margin.
“He is such a slow starter but when he started going, he looked really good,” Calder said. “Juwan (Burgess) won a non-Olympic weight class and he wrestled really well too.”
McLaren, a Governor Simcoe grad, won her first national senior crown by defeating Abby Lloyd from the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club. Lloyd, a Simon Fraser University athlete, recently won her first Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association championship.
“She was great because she has lost to that girl I don’t know how many times, including two times this year,” Calder said. “It was a nice win for her and those girls are right there with everyone in the Commonwealth.
“With Diana (Brock wrestler Ford), all three are going to be the ones vying for the Olympic Games.”
Other top five showings by Brock on the men’s side were turned in by: Sam Jagas (57 kilograms), Ligrit Sadiku (61 kilograms), Cruiz Manning (65 kilograms) and Richard DesChatelets Jr. (97 kilograms) who won bronze; Tyler Rowe (74 kilograms) who placed fourth; and, Alex Moher (57 kilograms), Chris McIssac (70 kilograms) and Clayton Pye (86 kilograms) who were fifth.
The championships are being used as a selection event for men for the Senior World Championships in Budapest.
Other medal winners for Brock on the women’s side were: Jasmine Jasudavicius (55 kilograms), Hannah Taylor (57 kilograms) and Shauna Kubeck (72 kilograms) who won silver; and, Indira Moores (68 kilograms) and Darrion Sterling (72 kilograms) who captured bronze.
Many of Canada’s top senior women didn’t compete in the tournament because they were at the Women’s World Cup in Japan. A women’s selection event for the senior worlds will be held in June.
In her absence, Brock member Michelle Fazzari and Justina Di Stasio were awarded Wrestling Canada’s Outstanding Senior Female Wrestler of the Year award.
At the junior nationals, Brock’s Taylor won her second straight Outstanding Junior Female award. She won gold at 57 kilograms after winning at 55 kilograms in 2017.
DesChatelets Jr. was named the Outstanding Male Wrestler of the tournament after winning his first national title at 97 kilograms.
“Richard was friggin’ awesome. Surprise might be an understatement because he wrestled unbelievable,” Calder said. “He won the juniors in a good weight class and he was third in the seniors.”
DesChatelets won gold after failing to medal in 2017.
“He really emerged and he has had a good month,” Calder said.
Taylor wrestled well but was tired after also competing in the senior nationals and winning silver.
“She had a long and a busy month like all of them and I think she was a little disappointed coming second in the seniors.”
Taylor lost in the senior final to Alexandria Town, after beating her at the Ontario seniors and the provincial and national university championships. She has also lost to Town this season.
“At the junior level, she is far and above everyone else and is looking for a good performance at the junior worlds,” Calder said.
Brock’s Ty Bridgewater won his second straight junior national title at 74 kilograms. Other Brock junior champions were Samantha Romano (50 kilograms) and Nicole French (72 kilograms).
Other medalists for Brock on the junior women’s side were: Daina Armstrong, second at 55 kilograms; and, Jessica Tillmanns, third at 62 kilograms. Tillmans, a Beamsville student, recently won gold at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association’s championships.
In the junior men’s division, Brock’s Jeremy Badgley (125 kilograms), a Thorold Secondary School student, and Kellan Royds (97 kilograms) were fourth and Johannes Budgey (79 kilograms) was sixth. Badgley recently won bronze at OFSAA.
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