University of Calgary

Dinos wrestling

February 25, 2011

Dinos women hope to wrestle home national crown

By Brian Foster

The University of Calgary Dinos wrestling team goes for gold this weekend at the 2011 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Wrestling Championships in Thunder Bay, Ont., hosted by Lakehead University.

Calgary’s eleven Canada West medalists qualified for the national championships, and the Dinos head on the road for the first time since 2007 after hosting the last three CIS meets.

The Dinos women are seeking their third title in the past five years. The top-ranked squad in CIS is coming off an impressive Canada West team championship victory, and the opportunity to bring seven women to nationals has head coach Mitch Ostberg excited about his team’s chances.

“We have a strong team that can challenge to be the champion,” says Ostberg. “We have qualified in seven of the eight weight classes and I have noticed that the most wrestlers an Ontario school has qualified is six, so it will be a horse race to be the team champion.”

Ostberg speaks highly of his women’s team with good reason. In addition to their great skill, they possess an abundance of competitive experience.

The Dinos boast three CIS individual champions. Leading the way is four-time CIS champion Gen Haley, who is looking to join the University of Alberta’s Ali Bernard as the only two female wrestlers in CIS history to win five CIS championships. Leah Callahan is vying for a three-peat in her 82 kg weight class, while Erica Wiebe tries to reclaim her 2009 CIS 72 kg title after a silver medal performance in 2010.

Tessa Gallinger and Jessy Seida will be seeking strong performances to possibly reach the podium, while rookies Ruth Laing and Danielle Burk round out the team and will be eager to contribute to the team score.

“I think we can generate some medals, and possibly a champion,” says Ostberg. “We hope to earn a solid placing as a team.”

Canada’s best wrestlers hit the mat for two days of intense competition beginning this Friday.

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