Four Cascades wrestlers advance to gold medal matches at nationals

Brad Hildenbrandt is off to the U SPORTS title match for the second straight year. (UFV Cascades file photos)

A productive opening day at the U SPORTS national wrestling championships in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. saw the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades advance four wrestlers to Saturday’s finals.

Reigning U SPORTS heavyweight champ Brad Hildenbrandt (men’s 120 kg) is in the gold medal match once again, and he’s got company. Parker McBride (men’s 54 kg) and the Godinez Gonzalez sisters, Karla (women’s 55 kg) and Ana (women’s 63 kg), will also grapple for gold on Saturday at Algoma University.

Jacob Torres (men’s 61 kg) is also in medal contention – he’ll be in the bronze medal match for his weight class. Additionally, Karan Dhillon (72 kg) and De’Andre Williams (men’s 76 kg) are in fifth-sixth placing matches.

Championship Website

Livestream – USPORTS.LIVE

Full results

Ana Godinez Gonzalez won two of her matches by technical superiority on Friday.

“Out of seven athletes, we got four into the finals and five into medal matches,” Cascades head coach Raj Virdi enthused. “It’s great. Two of our veteran athletes are in the finals, and two rookies. As a group we’ve done really well, but those four have had really strong tournaments.”

Hildenbrandt cruised through his first two matches, winning by technical superiority without surrendering a point. His third opponent, Frederick Choquette of the Concordia Stingers, proved a tougher test, and he’d beaten Hildenbrandt on two prior occasions at non-U SPORTS competitions. But Hildenbrandt, in Virdi’s words, was “dominant,” and prevailed 10-5. He’ll face Richard DesChatelets of the Brock Badgers in the final on Saturday.

McBride won both his matches against foes from Ontario schools to punch his ticket to the final. There, he’ll face his nemesis, Jordan Wong of the Alberta Golden Bears. The two have wrestled four times this season, with Wong winning three times including the Canada West gold medal match.

Karla Godinez Gonzalez, the Canada West female wrestler of the year, opened the tourney with wins over Alberta’s Ferris Sandboe (8-0) and Concordia’s Kaya Dube Snow (10-0). She finally surrendered her first points of the post-season in her third match against Guelph’s Chelsey Sicard, but nevertheless won it 8-2. She faces the No. 1-ranked wrestler at 55 kg, Emily Shaefer of the Brock Badgers, for the gold.

Ana Godinez Gonzalez, the Canada West female rookie of the year, was pushed by Natasha Doroodian of the host Algoma Thunderbirds in her opener, but fended her off 10-6. She won her next two matches by technical superiority. Like her sister, Ana faces a No. 1-ranked opponent from Brock in the final: Jessica Brouillette.

Day 2 begins on Saturday, Feb.. 24 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT. Medal matches begin at 12 noon ET / 9 a.m. PT with bronze medal hopefuls first, followed by gold medal matches at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT.

The Cascades men sit sixth in the team standings after Day 1, while the women are eighth. Complete team standings are below.

Parker McBride will face his nemesis Jordan Wong in the gold medal match.

TEAM STANDINGS

Men

  1. Brock Badgers – 77 points
  2. Concordia Stingers – 50 points
  3. Alberta Golden Bears – 43 points
  4. Guelph Gryphons – 34 points
  5. Saskatchewan Huskies – 28 points
  6. Fraser Valley Cascades – 27 points
  7. Regina Cougars – 26 points
  8. McMaster Marauders – 25 points
  9. Calgary Dinos – 20 points
  10. Lakehead Thunderwolves – 16 points

Women

  1. Brock Badgers – 61 points
  2. Alberta Pandas – 32 points
  3. Calgary Dinos – 26 points
  4. Concordia Stingers – 25 points
  5. Saskatchewan Huskies – 21 points
  6. Regina Cougars – 20 points
  7. Lakehead Thunderwolves – 16 points
  8. Fraser Valley Cascades – 16 points
  9. Guelph Gryphons – 15 points
  10. York Lions – 11 points

Canada West female athlete of the year Karla Godinez Gonzalez has secured at least a silver medal.

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