Mustangs win second consecutive wrestling championship

For the second straight year, the Western Mustangs men’s wrestling team has won the OUA Championship, claiming the title Saturday evening in St. Catharines. The Mustangs took first place with 73 points, eclipsing McMaster (67 points) and the host Brock (63 points) for the championship.

The Mustangs women’s team also fared well at the event, finishing in second place (59 points) behind Brock, who won its sixth straight title with 69 points. Lakehead rounded out the podium, finishing third with 49 points.

Along with the men’s title, Western head coach Ray Takahashi was named the OUA Men’s Coach of the Year for the second time in two years.

Western was dominant throughout the meet medaling in nearly every weight class, putting nine wrestlers on the podium including gold medals from Steven Takahashi (54 kg) and Ilya Abelev (72 kg).

Takahashi has dominated the 54 kg weight class at the OUA level, winning in each of his first three seasons at Western. Abelev has been equally as dominant, winning the 65 kg class in 2011, the 68 kg class in 2012, and the 72 kg class this year.

The duo have also excelled at the CIS Championships, claiming gold in their respective weight classes in both 2011-12, and will look to do the same in two weeks at Alumni Hall.

Joshua Proctor (68 kg), Sam Hanna (76 kg) and Kevin Ens (90 kg) took silver for the Mustangs, while Ethan Smith (61 kg), Matt Jagas (65 kg), Eric Jacobson (82 kg) and Cory Palmer (130 kg) all won bronze.

On the women’s side the Mustangs brought home seven medals, including gold for Brianne Barry and Larissa D’Alleva in the 55 kg and 63 kg weight classes. It’s the third straight OUA gold medal for Barry and second in three years for D’Alleva.

Andrea Wakelin (59 kg) and Arllene Williams (67 kg) contributed silver medals to the Mustangs total count, with Valerie Ouellette (48 kg), Alyssa Mederios (51 kg) and Monica Varallo (82 kg) each adding bronze medals.

Western now prepares to welcome the best wrestlers in the nation to London as the team hosts the CIS Wrestling Championships on March 1-2 at Alumni Hall.