The Wesmen wrestling teams are growing in numbers, as well as getting more support from their new partner and the U of W.
The teams have 26 players in total with 12 women and 14 men. Among these there are five new wrestlers on the men’s team and three on the women’s.
In the first half of the season, the women’s wrestling won the team title twice – once at the University of Calgary and again at the 2015 Wesmen Open held in Duckworth Centre.
The men placed second at the Clan International tournament at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and were the highest placing Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) team in that highly competitive tournament.
The head coach and founder of the program, Adrian Bruce, says there are many reasons the teams have been doing so well this season.
“We had a pretty decent recruiting season and even some of our younger athletes, as they start to mature and develop, they’re really stepping up,” Bruce says.
“We had two national champions last year and national silver medalists. One of our women is a national bronze medalist. So it’s not as though we’re starting fresh – it’s something that we try to build on every year and we continue to do so.”
Wade Fry, who has entered his third year on the men’s wrestling team, and Morgan Hill, who has been on the women’s wrestling team for two years, say that new wrestlers bring new styles in their performances.
“Our team has been growing. We have a lot of good people from all around, (a) lot of different wrestling styles here and we’re doing really well,” Fry says.
“We have more numbers now. We have a lot more people to train with. We just keep building on what we have,” Hill adds.
Another reason for success lies in the support the teams have gotten this year, Bruce says.
“We have a lot of good people in our staff. This is our first year when we’ve entered into a partnership with a Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba (CSCM). Along with that has come a lot of very valuable resources. We have sport psychiatrists, strength and conditioning nutritionists – a lot of resources that we never had available to us,” Bruce says.
Apart from the resources provided by the CSCM, the coach emphasizes the importance of having support from the U of W.
“One of the big reasons our program does as well as it does is because of the amount of support that it gets from our university. I mean, just very recently our president was there watching our tournament. You don’t see it very often in a lot of universities.”
“I think they take pride in the achievements of the athletes, as they should. And it’s my responsibility to make sure that we give them a reason to be proud,” Bruce says.
The second half of the wrestling season will start in the first weekend of January.