Knight’s quick move earns rural title

Wrestling: Nori beats national silver medalist in High River

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 06:00 am

Foothills Falcon Cody Thompson (in blue) turns Fort Vermilion’s Braydon Lambert at the rural provincial high school wrestling championships on Saturday in High River. Thompson won the match to qualify for the provincial championships in Edmonton on March 8-9.
Foothills Falcon Cody Thompson (in blue) turns Fort Vermilion’s Braydon Lambert at the rural provincial high school wrestling championships on Saturday in High River. Thompson won the match to qualify for the provincial championships in Edmonton on March 8-9.
Bruce Campbell/OWW

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A Holy Trinity Academy wrestler did not plan on defending his rural provincial championship by beating one of the top wrestlers in the country, but that is exactly what he did.

Christian Nori accomplished the upset of the weekend beating Colton McDonnell en route to winning the 50kg boys championship at the rural provincials at Highwood High School in High River on Friday night.

Nori was one of seven foothills area wrestlers to finish in the top five in High River to qualify for the provincial championships March 8-9 in Edmonton.

Nori had to beat one of the best in McDonnell to win rurals.

“He got second in (cadet) nationals last year and went to the Pan-Am Games and when I heard he had dropped to my weight class I got a little psyched out,” said Nori, a Grade 11 student at Holy Trinity Academy (HTA). “When I started to warm-up before (the match) I got that out of my head and told myself to do the best that I can, and that’s exactly what I did.”

Nori beat McDonnell in two straight rounds (2-0, 3-2).

He admitted winning the first round was a tremendous confidence boost and he needed it.

McDonnell took a 2-0 lead with about 30 second left in the second round, but Nori was able to get out of McDonnell’s hold and got behind the Wetaskiwin wrestler to close the gap to 2-1 with approximately five seconds left.

“I told myself ‘you gotta go, you gotta go’ and the coaches were yelling ‘you gotta go, you gotta go,’” Nori said. “I just lifted him and turned him with a high gut wrench and got my two points.”

McDonnell is the defending high school provincial champion at 53kg. He decided to cut weight to 50kg in order to make room for other wrestlers on the Wetaskiwin team in the higher weight classes.

“I cut close to eight pounds to make this weight and I think that was a factor,” McDonnell said. “When I tried to lock the wrestlers I wasn’t as tight as I usually am... I wasn’t expecting to lose as much muscle or get as tired as I did.”

However, he gave full credit to Nori.

“He took advantage of my mistakes,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell said he wouldn’t be surprised to meet Nori again in two weeks time for the gold medal in Edmonton.

“I hope to work on a few things and get used to being at this weight,” McDonnell said.

HTA’s Jazz Singh didn’t have to cut weight for the rural provincials. He just about got cut out of a chance to qualify for provincials altogether.

Singh thought his tournament was over when he lost his final match in the 65kg round-robin. Although he was told he was out, it turns out it was a mistake.

“I was really bummed out because I won most of my matches (3-2 in the round-robin),” Singh said. “I was in Costco shopping with my dad, and I got a call from Coach Barnert to get back... I didn’t even have time to warm-up, but I think all the running around got me ready.”

Singh rushed into the Highwood gym and promptly pinned Christian Lambert from Fort Vermilion in the fifth/sixth place match to earn a trip to Edmonton.

HTA’s partners in wrestling, the Foothills Composite Falcons will be sending three wrestlers to Edmonton. Their smallest wrestlers led them, Brody Scheirman at 47kg and Jonathan Jeffery at 53kg.

Scheirman won the gold medal in his first year of high school wrestling going 2-0 in High River on Friday night.

“I had two pins and they were both in the first round,” said Scheirman, a Grade 11 student. “I pinned them with a single leg (takedown) into a double leg.”

Scheirman didn’t wrestle last year, but was on the mat the previous five years in the junior high and elementary school level.

He said he struggled at the start of this season, but started to come on the last few weeks.

Jeffery’s hard work in his first year of high school wrestling paid off as he won the bronze medal at 53kg by beating John Cripps from Parkland when he had two three-point moves to win the match. However, the match was protested because the clock did not run in the final seconds. There was concern Jeffery’s final move may have come after time expired.

A review of the video showed Jeffery clearly won.

“I don’t look at the clock because when I do I start to worry about the score,” Jeffery said. “I thought he had won the protest and I was going to have to wrestle again.

“I told myself: ‘I qualified for provincials and if I have to wrestle him again, it will be just for fun.’”

He admitted his confidence has skyrocketed since the start of the year.

“My goal was to finish fifth or higher to get to go to provincials, so I am really happy to get a bronze,” Jeffery said. “I used to think before a match I couldn’t win because I was so nervous. Now I think I can win.”

The Falcons’ Cody Thompson also qualified for provincials by finishing fifth at 76kg. Thompson was in a tough pool in the round-robin where he was pitted against the eventual gold and silver medalists.

“All three of us got stuck in the same boat,” Thompson said. “I lost to both those guys in the round-robin when I made some mistakes, but I hope I can fix that for provincials.”

He finished 3-2 among the six wrestlers in Pool A. He had to crossover and beat Braydon Lambert in the fifth/sixth place match to qualify for provincials.

“I was upset I lost (in the round-robin) but I wasn’t too worried because I still had a chance to get to provincials,” Thompson said.

Thompson beat Lambert 6-1, 6-0 to qualify for provincials.

His route to provincials was easier than last year. He finished sixth at rurals in 2012 and did not get into provincials until there was a no-show at the championships. He made the most of his opportunity, however, winning the bronze medal at the provincials held at Foothills Composite High School.

The Highwood Mustangs from High River had two boys qualify for provincials. They are Keiran Hrycyk who was third at 59kg and Austin Burman, who was fifth at 68kg.

For full results go to www.asaa.ca

bcampbell@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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