A pair of University of the Fraser Valley athletes were honoured Tuesday as Canada West handed out its three stars of the week.
Karla Godinez Gonzalez was named the women’s first star of the week, while Brad Hildenbrandt was the men’s third star.
• Godinez Gonzalez put together a historic performance at the Canada West wrestling championships in Edmonton, winning all four of her matches in the women’s 55 kg division in dominant fashion. The sophomore from Surrey, B.C. didn’t surrender a single point, and ended three of her matches early via technical superiority.
Godinez Gonzalez shared a slice of Cascades history with her younger sister Ana (63 kg), as they became the first UFV female wrestlers to win Canada West individual titles. At the tournament’s conclusion, Karla was voted the Canada West female wrestler of the year, another Cascades first.
• Hildenbrandt, meanwhile, defended his Canada West heavyweight (120 kg) title in impressive fashion. The third-year wrestler’s only close call came in his opening match on Friday, when he had to come from behind to edge Jordan Tholl of the Regina Cougars 6-4. Both wrestlers are ranked nationally in their weight class – Hildenbrandt No. 1, Tholl No. 3.
From there, it was smooth sailing for Hildenbrandt, a Surrey product who won a U SPORTS title and was named UFV’s male athlete of the year in 2017. He won each of his last three matches by technical superiority.
Godinez Gonzalez and Hildenbrandt were among seven UFV wrestlers to medal at the conference tourney and thus qualify for the U SPORTS national championships, which run Feb. 23-24 at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.