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Canadian Interuniversity Sport – OTTAWA (CIS) – The Brock University Badgers hope to write more CIS wrestling history this weekend when they host the 2016 national championships on home turf at the Bob Davis Gymnasium in St. Catharines, Ont.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wrest/index

Qualifiers & Pools: http://en.cis-sic.ca/championships/wrest/2016/files/2016_CIS_pools.pdf

The two-day meet, which returns to St. Catharines for the first time since 2006, gets under way on Friday with the preliminary rounds and concludes on Saturday with the placement matches (11 a.m.), bronze-medal bouts (12:30 p.m.) and finals (2:30 p.m.). Selected matches from all sessions – including all finals – will be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

A year ago in Edmonton, the Badgers became the first program to sweep both CIS team banners for the second consecutive season. The Brock women have claimed the last four national titles, matching Simon Fraser’s record run from 2003 to 2006, and could tie SFU’s mark of six titles overall with another triumph on Saturday. In men’s competition, the Badgers have claimed a record 15 banners since the inaugural CIS championships in 1969.

If the recent OUA championships in Sault Ste. Marie are a sign of things to come, Brock could be in for an historic three-peat this weekend. The Badgers dominated the conference meet at Algoma University, sweeping the team banners thanks to a remarkable 18 individual medals, 13 of them gold. Only one weight class – the men’s heavyweight – did not see a Badger on the podium.  

At last year’s CIS championships, Brock racked up six medals (4-1-1) in eight women’s events and nine podium finishes (2-2-5) in 11 men’s categories to win both team titles by double digits. The Badgers return three of their national gold medallists from 2015, including Carlene Sluberski, who has been crowned at 55 kilograms in each of her first three appearances at the CIS meet; Jessica Brouillette, who moved up to 67 kg this season after claiming CIS gold at 63 kg in each of her first two campaigns; and Indira Moores, who is competing at 63 kg this year after winning the 59 kg crown last winter. 

The Badgers will be represented in each of the eight women’s weight classes this weekend, with Calgary (7) and Saskatchewan (5) following in order. With competitors in 10 of 11 men’s divisions, the OUA champs edge McMaster (9), Guelph (8), Saskatchewan (8) and Alberta (8). 

“Our preparation is designed around winning national championships,” said Brock head coach Marty Calder. “The results from the OUA championship weekend affirm our ability to be in the mix when we host the national meet.

“These CIS championships will be a big challenge. The strength of wrestling in Canada as well as the parity within our league offers us an opportunity to see where we stand. Two big tournaments in 12 days requires good preparation and a strong mind. We look forward to competing in front of our hometown crowd and vying for two national titles. It is going to be a great weekend.”

  

In addition to the Brock trio of Sluberski, Brouillette and Moores, nine other defending national champions are set to compete in St. Catharines. The list includes Alison Carrow from Guelph (67 kg) and Holly Ellsworth-Clark from Calgary (82 kg) on the women’s side, as well as male competitors Josh Bodnarchuk from Saskatchewan (2015 champion at 54 kg – competing at 57 kg this year), Michael Asselstine from Alberta (61 kg champ – competing at 68 kg), Chris Garneau from McMaster (68 kg), Ahmed Shamiya from McMaster (72 kg), Grayson St. Laurent from UNB (82 kg champ – competing at 90 kg), Finn Higgins from Winnipeg (90 kg champ – competing at 100 kg) and Kyle Nguyen from Winnipeg (120 kg).  

Asselstine, the reigning two-time CIS titlist at 61 kg who moved up two weight classes this season and comes in as the 68 kg Canada West champ, could make some history of his own this weekend as he is looking to become the first athlete – male or female – to three-peat as CIS wrestler of the year.  

At the Canada West championships held two weeks ago in Winnipeg, the Calgary Dinos successfully defended their women’s banner, while the Saskatchewan Huskies finished atop the men’s standings for the first time since 1986 thanks to a four-point advantage over Asselstine’s Golden Bears, who had won the last three conference titles.  

“We really performed well at the conference championships, winning four gold medals and qualifying seven out of eight female wrestlers to CIS,” said Dinos head coach Mitch Ostberg. “Rookie Tianna Kennett had a great day, while Temi (Ogunjimi), Cara (Nania) and Holly (Ellsworth-Clark) are all capable of competing for the CIS gold medal for sure. Seven of eight weight classes is good, but it’s going to be a tough challenge to beat Brock on the scoreboard. We’re looking forward to the meet.”

“Our team is excited to keep rolling at the CIS championships. After a big weekend at the conference championships, taking the Canada West title and seeing some of our guys really break through and perform, we are hoping for big things on the national level,” said Saskatchewan mentor Daniel Olver. “Since we got back from Winnipeg, the level of intensity at training has increased and you can see the focus in their training that this team is ready to push for a top spot at CIS. We have a number of athletes who have the chance to get on the podium if they perform like we know they can.”

PAST CIS TEAM CHAMPIONS 

Women (inaugural women’s championship in 1999)

2015 Brock

2014 Brock

2013 Brock

2012 Brock

2011 Alberta

2010 Simon Fraser

2009 Calgary

2008 Simon Fraser

2007 Calgary

2006 Simon Fraser

2005 Simon Fraser

2004 Simon Fraser

2003 Simon Fraser

2002 Brock

2001 Calgary

2000 Calgary

1999 Calgary

Men (last 20 years)

2015 Brock

2014 Brock

2013 Alberta

2012 Concordia

2011 Concordia

2010 Simon Fraser

2009 Simon Fraser

1999 to 2008 Brock (10 straight titles)

1998 Regina

1997 Regina

1996 Brock

Complete list: Click HERE

PAST CIS WRESTLERS OF THE YEAR (last 10 years)

Women 

2015 Hayley Thomas, Alberta (51 kg)

2014 Brianne Barry, Western (55 kg)

2013 Samantha Stewart, UNB (59 kg)

2012 Emma Brightwell, Lakehead (82 kg)

2011 Gen Haley, Calgary (55 kg)

2010 Gen Haley, Calgary (51 kg)

2009 Heidi Erdle, Calgary (59 kg)

2008 Miranda Dick, Simon Fraser (55 kg)

2007 Hana Askren, Concordia (48 kg)

2006 Emily Richardson, Simon Fraser (59 kg)

Complete list: Click HERE

Men

2015 Michael Asselstine, Alberta (61 kg)

2014 Michael Asselstine, Alberta (61 kg)

2013 David Tremblay, Concordia (61 kg)

2012 Preston Mikulasik, Lakehead (130 kg)

2011 Vince Cormier, UNB (61 kg)

2010 Shujon Mazumber, Toronto (54 kg)

2009 David Tremblay, Concordia (61 kg)

2008 Dustyn Fisher, Simon Fraser (90 kg)

2007 Jamie Macari, Brock (54 kg)

2006 Sheldon Francis, McMaster (82 kg)

Complete list: Click HERE

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Thursday, February 25

14:00 Weigh-ins 

Friday, February 26

10:00 Preliminaries Round 1 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

13:00 Preliminaries Round 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

15:30 Preliminaries Round 3 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Saturday, February 27

11:00 5th-8th place matches (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

12:30 Bronze-medal matches (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

14:30 Championship finals (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

18:30 Championship Banquet (Four Points by Sheraton)

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CIS_SIC   

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cissports

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/universitysport

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/CIS_SIC

-CIS-

For further information, please contact:

Michel Bélanger        

Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Interuniversity Sport

T: 613-562-5670 ext. 25

C: 613-447-6334

E: belanger@universitysport.ca

Shawn Whiteley

Brock University

T: 905-688-5550 ext. 4506

C: 905-246-1772

E: swhiteley@brocku.ca