Friesen an OUA rookie times two
Multi-sport Mia was up to her usual tricks Saturday afternoon.
Last fall, Mia Friesen was named the Ontario University Athletics field lacrosse rookie of the year and Saturday, the Governor Simcoe alumnus was named the OUA rookie of the year for wrestling.
“Because she was part of our Junior Badgers program, we have always known that she is a phenomenal talent and she hasn’t disappointed us,” Brock women’s coach Dave Collie said. “We see great things happening for her.”
Friesen was obviously happy with the award but she was upset with losing the 59-kilogram final to York’s Alexandria Town, a former world under-23 and Pan Am champion.
“Can you tell I am not happy? I hold myself to what I think are perfectly good expectations but other people tell me that they are a little high,” 19-year-old St. Catharines native said. “I came in wanting to win and not winning wasn’t an option. It happened and distraught as I am in the moment right now it is just fuel. It is fuel for this year and it is fuel for next year.
“I am going to put my nose to the grindstone and get right back in the room and work on all my weaknesses that got exposed here today. I am going to come back better.”
Collie expected Town to win the match but Friesen had other ideas.
“She is very good wrestler with an impressive resume but obviously with all due respect I wanted to win,” Friesen said. “It didn’t matter for me.”
Collie loves that attitude.
“She is a great natural athlete, she is a hard worker and No. 1 she is a competitor,” he said.
She is also proficient at training for two sports at the same time.
“It was hard with it obviously being my first year of university. I bit off a little bit more than I thought I was doing but I had a great time,” she said. “Everyone on the lacrosse team, everyone on the wrestling team, and every support staff member and coach was super supportive and proud of me in every way and that got me through it.”
She is planning to bite off a little more than she can chew again next year.
“I’ve got to. I got named one of the captains for next year’s lacrosse team,” she said, with a laugh.
Like all wrestlers in Ontario, Friesen struggled to train during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was hard but everyone was going through the same thing. We all came together understanding each other’s situation and we dealt with it well. It wasn’t as bad as it looked like from the outside in.”