Abbotsford – In the aftermath of a historic performance on behalf of the University of the Fraser Valley wrestling program, Brad Hildenbrandt has been named the Canada West men’s first star of the week.
UFV hosted the Canada West Wrestling Championships for the first time in program history, Feb. 8-9. Surrey, B.C. product Hildenbrandt not only won his third straight conference title in the men’s heavyweight (120 kg) division, he was voted the Canada West male athlete of the year, becoming the first Cascades men’s wrestler to earn that honour.
UFV’s fourth-year team captain was dominant on the mat – he won his first match via pin, and his other two by technical superiority. The Cascades men’s squad finished third overall with 33 points to match the best finish in team history.
The Canada West men’s second and third stars of the week, respectively, were Narcisse Ambanza (Winnipeg basketball) and Michael Dowhaniuk (UBC volleyball).
Cascades wrestling teams nationally ranked
Both UFV wrestling squads maintained mentions in the latest batch of U SPORTS Top 10 national rankings, released Tuesday.
The Cascades men’s team is at No. 5, down one spot from the previous poll, while the women’s team also took a modest step back from No. 7 to No. 8.
Individually, five Cascades are ranked in the top three in the nation in their respective weight classes. Among UFV’s trio of Canada West champions, Hildenbrandt (men’s 120 kg) and Ana Godinez Gonzalez (women’s 63 kg) are No. 1, and De’Andre Williams (men’s 68 kg) is No. 2. Parker McBride (men’s 57 kg) and Amber Wiebe (women’s 55 kg) – both CW silver medal winners – hold down No. 3 rankings.
Eleven Cascades won individual conference medals last week, and they’ve earned the right to advance to the U SPORTS national championships hosted by the University of Calgary, Feb. 22-23.