EDMONTON – The 2018 Canada West Wrestling Championships kick off the conference’s winter championship schedule this Friday and Saturday in Edmonton, as the University of Alberta welcomes Western Canada’s top university wrestlers.
The two-day event will be hosted inside the Main Gym on U of A’s Main Campus, as the event returns to the Alberta capital for the rst time since the Golden Bears and Pandas last hosted in 2013.
On the men’s side, the host Bears enter the event as the defending conference champions and the highest CW team at last year’s U SPORTS Championship, where they finished third behind the OUA’s Brock Badgers (77 pts.) and McMaster Marauders (37 pts.).
Alberta features three returning gold medalists, including fth-year Melvin Arciaga, who topped the podium last season in the 61 kg. division. This year the Vancouver, B.C. product has competed at 57 kg. and is the No. 1-ranked wrestler in all of U SPORTS in that weight class.
In terms of women’s competition, the Saskatchewan Huskies are the reigning CW champs after claiming the program’s rst conference title in 2017 in front of a hometown crowd.
Saskatchewan features a young squad this season, as the team sports just two fth-year athletes in Laryssa Barry and Taylor Follensbee. Barry earned bronze a year ago at the CW Championship in the 59 kg. division and is expected to challenge for a medal again in 2018.
In terms of defending gold medalists, the Huskies have just one on the women’s side, as second-year Alison McPhee was the conference’s top wrestler in the 67 kg. division in 2017.
Along with Barry and McPhee, third- year Alex Schell is a strong medal contender. The Smithers, B.C. native is making her CW Championship debut at the 48 kg. division, after slotting in behind fifth-year Katie Dutchak, who claimed gold in the division both at CW and U SPORTS last season.
Unlike last season where Dutchak and company competed against wrestlers from the University of Winnipeg, this year will feature just five teams, as the Wesmen have put their program on hold indefinitely.
Joining Alberta and Saskatchewan are the Calgary Dinos, Regina Cougars, and relative newcomers to the CW wrestling scene the UFV Cascades.
Following this weekend, all ve CW teams will get ready for the 2018 U SPORTS Wrestling Championships, which are slated for Feb. 23-24 at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The event marks the rst time Algoma will host a U SPORTS championship, after joining the OUA and at the time CIS back in 2013.
Friday, Feb. 9
Rnd. 1 (mat 1): CGY vs. ALB – 3 p.m.
Rnd. 1 (mat 2): REG vs. SSK – 3 p.m.
Rnd. 2 (mat 1): SSK vs. ALB – 8 p.m.
Rnd. 2 (mat 2): REG vs. UFV – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 10
Rnd. 3 (mat 1): SSK vs. UFV – 9:30 a.m.
Rnd. 3 (mat 2): CGY vs. REG – 9:30 a.m.
Rnd. 4 (mat 1): UFV vs. ALB – 12 p.m.
Rnd. 4 (mat 2): CGY vs. SSK – 12 p.m.
Rnd. 5 (mat 1): REG vs. ALB – 2:30 p.m.
Rnd. 5 (mat 2): CGY vs. UFV – 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 9
Rnd. 1 (mat 1): UFV vs. ALB – 2 p.m.
Rnd. 1 (mat 2): CGY vs. SSK – 2 p.m.
Rnd. 2 (mat 1): CGY vs. UFV – 4:30 p.m.
Rnd. 2 (mat 2): REG vs. SSK – 4:30 p.m.
Rnd.3 (mat1): REG vs. ALB–7p.m.
Rnd.3 (mat2): SSK vs.UFV – 7p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 10
Rnd. 4 (mat 1): SSK vs. ALB – 11 a.m.
Rnd. 4 (mat 2): CGY vs. REG – 11 a.m.
Rnd. 5 (mat 1): CGY vs. ALB –1:30 p.m.
Rnd. 5 (mat 2): REG vs. UFV – 1:30 p.m.
*All rounds (both mats) will be streamed live on Canada West TV.
Alberta Golden Bears & Pandas
2017 CW finish: 1st (men's), 3rd (women's)
2017 U SPORTS finish: 3rd (men's), 4th (women's)
Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2017 / 10 (men’s), 2014/ 3 (women’s)
Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2013 / 4 (men’s), 2011/ 1 (women’s)
Number of competitors: 16 total (8 men, 8 women)
Returning CW gold medalists
Melvin Arciaga – 61kg
Aidan Mckeage – 68kg
Marcus Peterson – 72kg
Haley Heffel – 72kg
Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):
Jordan Wong / 54kg / 1st / Calgary, Alta.
Jack McDougall/ 61kg/ 1st / St. Albert, Alta.
Caileen Corbett / 48kg / 1st / Vancouver, B.C.
Megan Fendelet / 63kg / 1st / Edmonton, Alta.
Looking to continue their recent dominance of Canada West men’s wrestling, the host University of Alberta Golden Bears will heavily rely on fifth-year Melvin Arciaga. Arciaga is a two-time conference medalist, including capturing the men’s 61kg class last year in Saskatoon. The Vancouver, BC product has been tremendous in 2017-18 as well, capturing gold medals at the Golden Bear and Huskie Opens, and is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in U SPORTS in the 57kg weight class.