Grappler targeting gold at provincials
Wrestling: Cassidy Barnert wins rural title in High River
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 06:00 am
A Foothills Falcon didn’t let a bull’s eye on her back get in the way of taking the first step in defending her provincial high school wrestling championship.
Foothills Falcon Cassidy Barnert finished first in the 61kg female weight class by pinning Carlie Gendrie of Stettler in the gold medal match Saturday at Highwood High School in High River.
“My goal is to repeat this year and I came here (to High River) feeling I have a target on my back — that everyone’s goal is to beat Cassidy Barnert,” said Barnert a Grade 12 student. “I was pretty happy with how I wrestled. There were a few mistakes but I can learn from them.”
She will now take what she learned and apply it to the high school provincials in Edmonton on March 8-9. The top five wrestlers in each weight category at rurals in High River advanced to the provincial championships.
Barnert went 5-0 in winning the rural championship. She decided to play some defence in her gold medal bout against Gendrie.
“I saw her earlier matches and knew she really liked to throw,” Barnert said. “Because I am a taller wrestler that would be an advantage for her. So I decided to wrestle defensively — try to frustrate her — and go from there.”
Barnert won the first round 6-0 before pinning Gendrie in the second round.
“She went to throw me and I stayed low and was able to take her leg and drive her over,” Barnert said.
Her focus is now on defending her Alberta title in Edmonton. She doesn’t know much about the wrestlers who she will face in two weeks.
“Honestly I don’t have a clue,” she said. “This is the first tournament all year I have wrestled at 61kg; I have been at 65kg. There might be a few girls from last year, but I know the girl I met in the final last year has graduated.”
One of the girls Barnert beat en route to the gold medal in High River was Holy Trinity Academy’s (HTA) Jenna Morrison.
Morrison finished third at rural provincials and qualified for provincials.
HTA’s Abi Watkins wound up banging heads — literally — with a familiar nemesis in the 57kg gold medal match. Watkins lost in two straight rounds to Amber Maschke of Olds.
“All of last year we wrestled against each other but this is the first time I wrestled her this year,” Watkins said. “I was nervous. She has a strong upper body and I know what she does well. When I shoot for a double, she will reach through me and throw an Olympic on me.”
An Olympic has Maschke interlocking her arms though Watkins’ crotch area and then lifting, causing the HTA wrestler to somersault and expose her back for points.
Maschke had the most impressive Olympics since Vancouver in 2010. She successfully made the move in the first round for the 4-0 victory. She won the second round 2-0 by getting Watkins out of bounds.
Watkins finished with a 3-2 record at rurals with both her losses coming to the Olds grappler.
“I was happy how I wrestled, but I have never beat her,” Watkins said. “I think it will be me and her for the gold medal — I have a few things I need to work on.”
Maschke, a Grade 12 student at Olds, said she wouldn’t be surprised at all to meet Watkins in the provincial final.
“Abi is really aggressive,” Maschke said. “I don’t usually like to tie up with a wrestler but I have to against her — we do butt heads quite a bit.
“I look forward to wrestling her Edmonton. There are a lot of rookies at 57kg and I think it will be us two in the final.”
The Highwood Mustangs had all three of their female wrestlers qualify for provincials. Hanna Dayment won the gold medal at 53kg, beating Robin Scott of Our Lady of the Snow from Canmore in the final.
Dayment and Scott split the first two rounds, and when the Highwood wrestler fell behind 2-1 in the third round with just seconds left, it appeared she would have to settle for the silver.
However, Dayment was able to break Scott down, and with just two seconds left in the match, she was able to get behind Scott to tie things at 2-2.
Dayment had the last point so she was awarded the round and the win.
“My coach (Mustangs co-coach Andrew Lewis) was yelling at me to get behind,” said the Longview resident. “I am so excited to be going to provincials.”
Dayment won the gold despite having a tender elbow. She said she hopes to be at a 100 per cent for provincials.
Highwood’s Erin Garlock finished fourth at 53kg and Blackie resident Shelby Lewis, who also wrestles for the Mustangs, was fifth at 65kg. She was suffering from a sore leg and also aims to be healthy for Edmonton.
The provincials in Edmonton will have the top wrestlers from the rurals, as well as Calgary and the Capital city championships.
For full results go to www.asaa.ca