Wrestling: Cascades earn five medals at Golden Bears Invitational
With Jason Bains and Karan Dhillon leading the way, the University of the Fraser Valley wrestlers launched the second half of their season in successful fashion at the Alberta Golden Bears Invitational on Saturday.
The Cascades brought five medals home from Edmonton, highlighted by a gold medal for Bains and a silver for Dhillon.
There were just two entrants in Bains’s weight class, the men’s 100 kilogram, and he was dominant, defeating Steven Sheppard of the Calgary Dinos by technical superiority (10-0).
Dhillon posted a 3-1 record in the men’s 90 kg round robin. His three victories came in impressive fashion, all by technical superiority, and his lone loss was to reigning Canada West champ Hunter Lee of the Saskatchewan Huskies.
“They wrestled pretty well in their respective weight classes,” coach Gurjot Kooner said. “Jason’s opponent was ranked No. 3 (in the U SPORTS individual rankings) in the weight class, and he looked really strong. He gained a lot of confidence.
“Karan wrestled well in almost all of his matches. His match against Hunter Lee was better than the last time they wrestled at SFU. Karan didn’t score a point, but he gained some confidence that he can wrestle well against him.”
In other action, Sunny Benning battled his way to bronze in the men’s 82 kg division, highlighted by an epic comeback win over Calgary’s Connor Pointen in which he erased an 8-2 deficit to win 12-10. He went on to defeat Grande Prairie’s Kodiak Seguin 10-0 in the bronze medal match.
Calista Espinosa won bronze in the women’s 48 kg, dropping her first two matches to nationally ranked opponents before defeating Calgary’s Megan Surowka 10-0 to lock up third place.
Ali Rahguzar took bronze in the men’s 68 kg, bouncing back from a pair of hotly contested losses (12-5 to Alberta’s Devan Larkin, 18-15 to Calgary’s Emmanuel Olapade) to pin Sask’s Maxwell Meekins and lock up the podium spot.
Amarvir Atwal, in the men’s 76 kg, won his opener 12-0 over Brett Kryger of Midwest Wrestling Club, but was knocked out of medal contention after dropping his next two matches.
Up next for the Cascades wrestling club is their annual home tournament, the Cascades Classic, Jan. 26 at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
“We’re getting to where we want to be,” Kooner said. “Our next tournament is at home, and we want to keep improving, get our conditioning up, and get all of our technical errors out of the way leading into the Canada West championships.”