Under different competitive circumstances than they’re used to, the University of the Fraser Valley wrestling team turned in a series of solid performances at a tournament in Oregon on the weekend.
The Cascades were at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, for the Mike Clock Open, which featured opponents from NCAA and NAIA programs. They were competing in the “folkstyle” version of the sport – a distinctly American variety which differs from the Olympic-standard freestyle wrestling practiced around the world.
Despite their relative unfamiliarity with the nuances of folkstyle, the Cascades showed well.
Jasmit Phulka, coming off gold medals at the Calgary Dinos Invitational and the SFU International, was once again UFV’s top performer. Phulka made it through to the semifinals in the 184-pound weight class, and was leading Oregon State University’s Corey Griego when a hamstring pull forced him to drop out of the match. Earlier in the tourney, Phulka defeated a 2013 U.S. junior college champion.
Devin Purewal had a tough draw in the 165-pound bracket, posting a win and two losses, while Rohit Thandi competed at 133 pounds and did not place.
“It was our first tournament south of the border, and we like doing that because the competitors are from NCAA Div. 1 and Div. 2 and junior college programs,” UFV coach Arjan Bhullar said. “They’re all competitors we’re not going to see at Canada West or CIS events, and so we can approach them as ‘free’ matches and good learning experiences.
“We did well. We didn’t have a gold medal performance, but we had some wins across the board. We fought hard and we showed heart.”
Up next for the Cascades wrestlers is the Spokane Open, on the weekend of Nov. 22-23.