Volume 12 Week 5

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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
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Tim Tierney





(Posted 11:30 a.m., Feb. 18)
Lester B. wrestlers capture four gold at city championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Lester B. Pearson wrestlers (l to r) Cory Danis, Youssef Awada, Allan Walsh and Angelo Balangatan each won a gold medal medal at the NCSSAA wrestling championships on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Last summer, Alan Walsh broke his left arm in two places during a Canada Cup wrestling event. His injury required two pins and several screws to hold the bones in place while the injury took five months to heal.

In December, the 15-year-old, Grade 10 student at Lester B. Pearson High School returned to training at the Tsunami Karate and Wrestling Academy shortly after getting his cast off. Six weeks later he placed second at the Ontario Cadet Wrestling Championships and on Wednesday he defended his 45kg title at the National Capital Secondary School wrestling championships.

"I knew I was going to wrestle again. There was no way I was going to stop wrestling. Even if I broke my arm again I would keep wrestling, but I don't plan on breaking it again," said Walsh, who didn't give up a single point on his way to winning the gold medal in the 47.5 weight division.

Despite the fact that his arm is still not 100 per cent, Walsh is hoping to improve on his bronze medal performance of a year ago when he competes at the OFSAA provincial championships in Brampton next month.

"If I keep training hard and my arm gets stronger, I should be able to compete for a medal. We'll have to see how the arm feels," said Walsh who helped lead Lester B. Pearson to a second place performance in the men's team standings on Wednesday.

Three other wrestlers from Lester B. Pearson won gold. Cory Danis finished on top in the 41kg weight division. Youssef Awada captured the gold medal in the 51kg weight division after pinning his opponent in just 37 seconds. And Angelo Balangatan defended his gold medal in the Heavyweight Division by pinfall.

In winning the gold medal, Awada avenged his third place performance at last year's city championship when a concussion forced him to not only forfeit his final match but his challenge match as well.

In high school wrestling, the winner on the consolation side of the bracket can challenge the loser of the gold medal match if they haven't already wrestled. The winner of the challenge match is then awarded the silver medal and given a pass to the provincial championships.

Now in his final year of high school, Awada is looking forward to competing at OFSAA for the first time.

"That's what it's all about, going to OFSAA. Hopefully I'll be able to compete for a medal," said Awada.

At 19, Balangatan is heading back to the provincial championships for the second time after beating Chris Holmes in spectacular pin with just seven seconds left in the opening round of their gold medal match.

The much bigger Holmes scored a takedown within the first 20 seconds of the match to take an early 3-0 lead.

Balangatan managed to get a point back before he capitalized on a critical mistake by Holmes who slipped to one knee, allowing Balangatan to get him in a headlock and throw him to his back. From there it was only a matter of seconds before Balangatan got the pin.

"That's the first time I've beaten him so I'm pretty happy, especially with this being my last year," said Balangatan.

Lester B. Pearson's four gold medalists will be joined in Brampton by four members of the school's girls team who placed second in the aggregate standings. Meaghan Kelly paced second in the 57.5 kg weight class, Hailey Pennock finished second in the 64 kg weight division and Melissa Holder placed second in the 77kg weight class.

Among the other east end wrestlers who earned a ticket to the OFSAA provincial championships are Pascal Dubosq from Samuel Genest who won gold in the 77 kg weight class; Elena Torlone from Samuel Genest won gold in the 47.5 kg weight division; Tomio Clark from Colonel By won gold in the 44 kg weight division; Michelle Langstaff from Colonel By won gold in the girls unlimited weight division and Nick Delangis captured the silver medal in the 47.5 kg weight class.

Third place performances were turned in by Greg Stringer and Joanna Blodgett from Colonel By Secondary School; Jeff Desson from Cairine Wilson Secondary School; and Sioban Kerwin, Amy Chartier, Shirley Bien-Ami and Luis Castillo from Lester B. Pearson.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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