Brad Hildenbrandt launched his senior season with the University of the Fraser Valley wrestling program in the same way he’d closed out the previous three – with a win.

The Surrey BC product – a three-time reigning Canada West conference and U SPORTS national champion – finished atop the men’s heavyweight (125 kg) division at the Calgary Dino Invitational on the weekend. After an opening-round bye, he defeated Jacob Phillips of the Saskatchewan Huskies by technical superiority (10-0) in the semifinals, then pinned Josh Schug of the Edmonton Wrestling Club at the 2:30 mark of the opening round in the final.

“He looked good and had a good start to the season,” coach Gurjot Kooner said of Hildenbrandt. “He’s getting ready for the Olympic trials, so he’s good to go. He’s not making many mistakes, he’s a tough person to wrestle right now.”

Calista Espinosa also represented the Cascades in Calgary, posting one win and three losses in the women’s 48 kg division to finish sixth overall. She lost to Iverly Navarro from the University of Providence (Mont.) in her opener, bounced back to defeat Lily Reddon of the Edmonton Wrestling Club by technical superiority (12-2), and closed out the tourney with losses to EWC’s Amy Bell and SFU’s Alexia Seal.

“She was in a tough weight class, and her results don’t show how good she actually is,” Kooner said of Espinosa, who won Canada West silver and finished fourth at U SPORTS nationals last season. “I feel like with a couple tweaks, losses will turn into wins pretty quickly.”

Up next, the Cascades wrestling program participates in the SFU International this weekend in Burnaby.

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