Abelev earns provincial gold, Mustangs 3rd at the Ontario Senior Wrestling Championships
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – The Western Mustangs men's and women's wrestling teams both captured the bronze medal at this weekend's Ontario Senior Wrestling Championships in St. Catharines, Ontario. Thirteen athletes dueled for the Mustangs – who represented the London-Western Wrestling Club – at the event, and second year returnee Ilya Abelev earned a hard-fought provincial title.
Seconds before the buzzer in a highly charged 66 kg final against defending champion CJ Hudson (of Brock University), Abelev won the match with a counter to Hudson's leg attack. But Abelev's and the Mustangs' celebrations were for naught after a protest by Brock was upheld and the match resumed with a sudden-victory restart. Abelev was able to re-focus and take Hudson down to secure the victory the second time.
"Ilya won that match 3 times," said the Mustangs coach, Ray Takahashi. He actually thought Abelev should have received a point earlier in regulation time, which would have secured his win. The mat chairman (head on-mat official) asked for clarification with the other two officials but they chose not to go to video review.
"It could have easily gone to Ilya [the first time]," remarked Takahashi. "And, I think most people knew that Ilya scored before the buzzer. He did a tremendous job of keeping his composure in a highly emotional match."
Mustang teammate Steven Takahashi took the 55 kg gold to lead the Mustangs to an overall 3rd place team finish with 30 points. Brock Wrestling Club placed first overall with 36 points, as did the Guelph Wrestling Club but placed 2nd with Brock having more 1st place finishers.
In the women's division, Shelby Riddell acclaimed gold in the 82 kg division. Teammates Brianne Barry (55 kg) and Larissa D'Alleva (63 kg) placed second in their respective divisions. London-Western teammate, Sara Pattenaude placed 3rd defeating Mustang teammate, Andrea Wakelin, in the 59 kg division.
The final results of all the Mustangs who competed are as follows:
1st Steven Takahashi 55 kg
1st Ilya Abelev 66 kg
2nd Richard Balfour 60 kg
4th Eric Jacobson 84 kg
5th Josh Proctor 66 kg
1st Shelby Riddell 82 kg
2nd Brianne Barry 55 kg
2nd Larissa D'Alleva 63 kg
3rd Sara Pattenaude 59 kg
4th Monica Varallo 72 kg
5th Andrea Wakelin 59 kg
4th Valerie Ouellette 48 kg
5th Ramona Balfour 48 kg
The Mustangs will host the London-Western HS Invitational in Thames Hall Gymnasium next on Saturday, December 3rd. The event will feature teams throughout southwestern Ontario. Action begins at 9:00 am and continues throughout the day.
Bethany Wood / Ray Takahashi