Falcon repeats as provincial champion
Wrestling: Cassidy Barnert captures familys 11th medal
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 06:00 am
A Foothills Falcon wrestler has completed her high school career by defending her provincial title — and earning a special place on her family’s crowded mantel.
Foothills Composite High School’s Cassidy Barnert defended her Alberta title by pinning D’Arcy Dickenson from Calgary’s Bowness High in the girl’s 61kg final Saturday in Edmonton.
Barnert used her experience in pinning Dickenson.
“I had wrestled her last year at provincials,” Barnert said. “I knew she was a very stocky wrestler and had a tendency to get frustrated easy.”
Barnert ended Dickenson’s frustration by pinning her early in the match.
“We did a lot of hand fighting early in the first round and she went to push me out of bounds and I got her in a head pinch,” Barnert said. “I was able to break her down to the mat and I used an arm bar that we have been practicing all week to pin her.”
There’s no fooling around in a provincial tournament. Barnert usually tries to extend a match in order to give her opponent some experience. That strategy gets thrown out the window at a provincial tournament.
“I pinned her really early because I didn’t want to get caught,” Barnert said. “In provincials, it’s just game on.”
Barnert was only threatened in her opening match of provincials, which she won 1-0, 1-0 over Chanya Hughes from Sir Winston Churchill High.
The struggles in the opening match caught her coach, dad Mark Barnert, by surprise.
“I’m sure glad she wrestled better (in the final) than she did the first match,” Mark said with a chuckle. “She had a stupid match. It was okay but she just wasn’t moving like she usually does.”
Cassidy is the last of the Barnerts to wrestle for the Falcons. She ends her high school career with two provincial high school gold medals and a silver, which she won as a Grade 10 student.
The four Barnert brothers, Jeremiah, Shane, Wes and Blake, won eight provincialhigh school medals to go along with Cassidy’s three. She joins Wes as the only Barnert to win two gold medals at provincials.
“This won’t be the last Barnert — I have a granddaughter coming along,” Mark said. “I will hang in there as long as they want me.”
The Grade 12 Barnert led a contingent of Okotoks wrestlers that came home with two other medals, Holy Trinity Academy (HTA) Knights Christian Nori and Abi Watkins both won silver medals.
Nori just couldn’t get in the right head space for his boys 50kg gold medal match. Nori was beaten 6-0, 6-0 by Colton McDonnell of Wetaskiwin in the final on Saturday. The HTA wrestler defeated McDonnell at the rural provincial final two weeks earlier in High River.
“I am disappointed,” Nori said. “I just wasn’t there for the match. My head wasn’t there and I just wasn’t wrestling well and it cost me the match.”
McDonnell, who won a silver medal at 53kg last year at nationals, cut weight to 50kg for the rural and provincial championships. Nori said he could tell the Wetaskiwin wrestler had adjusted to his weight better at provincials than he did in High River.
“He was definitely less tired and he was a lot more focused because he didn’t want to lose again,” Nori said.
Nori finished with a 4-2 record at provincials, with his only losses coming to McDonnell.
“I was pretty happy with my performance except for that one match (the final),” Nori said.
“I haven’t really processed what I did wrong in that match.”
McDonnell admitted losing to Nori at rurals was a motivator going into provincials.
“It really was — I think I have a reputation that I have to keep up and losing to him really weighed heavily on my mind,” McDonnell said.
He said having an extra day to refuel after the weigh-in made a difference at provincials as well.
“I had much more time to get my energy back,” McDonnell said.
McDonnell gave full credit to his opponent from Okotoks.
“Oh, I think next year he should do really well,” he said.
Watkins can hardly wait until June because that is when Olds Spartan Amber Maschke will graduate. Watkins, a Grade 11 student, finished second at provincials in girls 57kg — the same outcome she had at rural provincials two weeks earlier.
“It’s frustrating but I think I did better than I did the last time I wrestled her,” Watkins said. “I need to be more patient. In the first round I was taking bad shots, but I was definitely a lot better this time.”
She said Maschke wrestled defensively and took advantage of her mistakes.
Watkins was close, losing 3-2, 3-1 in two rounds.
She dominated her opposition prior to meeting Maschke in the final as she pinned all four of her previous opponents.
Elsewhere, Foothills Falcon Brody Schierman finished fourth in the boys 47kg while Cody Thompson was sixth at 76 kg. Jazz Singh of Holy Trinity Academy also earned sixth place at 67kg.
The Knights’ Jenna Morrison didn’t finish in the top six in the girls 61kg division, but was able to make the provincials in her first year of wrestling.
Shelby Lewis of Highwood High School was sixth in the girls 65kg division.