Mac wrestlers polish styles with bronze and silver

Erica D’Angelo’s return to competition continues to gather steam as the Marauders approach Ontario University Athletics wrestling championships.

The veteran wrestler enjoyed her best result of the season on Saturday (Feb. 1), winning a silver medal in the 55kg weight class at the Western Open. Chris Garneau and Andrew Balach each claimed bronze on the men’s side, while Christianna Walker narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth in the women’s 51kg division.

McMaster's Andrew Balach (Photo: Basia Karpinski/McMaster Athletics)

McMaster’s Andrew Balach (Photo: Basia Karpinski/McMaster Athletics)

D’Angelo opened the competition with a win over York’s Colleen Semple, and scored a decision victory over Saskatchewan’s Laryssa Barry in the second round. But the Marauder’s run came to an end in the division final when she was defeated by Liz Sera of Concordia.

Garneau shut out Memorial’s Steve Adams with a suplex in the first round, before losing a 14-6 decision to the eventual division champion, Brock’s CJ Hudson. In the consolation rounds, Garneau defeated Calgary’s Kyle Horvath 11-4 to reach the bronze-medal match, where he out-pointed Matt Jagas of the London Wrestling Club, 14-2, to secure a podium position.

Third-year heavyweight Balach reached the podium in the 120kg weight class, opening with dominant wins over Saskatchewan’s Jacob Phillips and the L’Essor Wrestling Club’s Paul Demers. Like Garneau, Balach was defeated by the eventual division champion, CJ Thoms of the University of New Brunswick. But he rebounded well with a second win over Phillips in the consolation round, and narrowly out-pointed Algoma’s Dennon Armstrong 2-1 in the bronze-medal match.

Walker defeated her first-round opponent, Lauren Towell of Algoma, before falling to the eventual division champion Allyssa Cleaves in the second round. The Marauder responded with a commanding consolation victory over Guelph’s Emma Crouch, before suffering a narrow, 13-10 loss on points to Silke Svenknson of Saskatchewan.

McMaster will have a week away from competition as the team puts it final preparations in place for the OUA championships, being hosted by York on Sunday, Feb. 16.