Windsor, Ont. – Two members of the St. Stephen Wrestling Club have placed in the Greco-Roman discipline of the 2017 Cadet/Juvenile Canadian Championships, which recently took place in Windsor.
John Luc Landry, wrestling at 63 kg, claimed gold in Greco-Roman after pinning his opponent in 20 seconds during the final match, while Jake Hughes nabbed silver wrestling at 76 kg.
Landry and Hughes participated in two disciplines, first competing in the freestyle category, and then competing in the Greco-Roman.
Four members of the St. Stephen Wrestling Club travelled to Windsor to compete in the national tournament.
During the freestyle, Morgan Haney, wrestling at 56 kg, finished in the top eight, with three wins.
“Morgan had a decent tournament,” said coach Pat Zwicker. “There were 22 in the weight class – she didn’t do too badly for her first time at nationals.”
Destiny Bigger, wrestling at 52 kg, won her first match, but Zwicker said she met the eventual gold medalist, and got concussed during the match.
“It was a ground move, it was a gut wrench. She had Destiny’s arm trapped in a bar, and was doing the gut wrench, and as she’s going through, she was torquing up and [Bigger’s] neck went the wrong way,” Zwicker said.
During the freestyle, Hughes and Landry both went 2-2.
Speaking of Landry’s freestyle matches, Zwicker said his first match was one he should have won, but said he “wrestled a really smart second match,” but struggled in his final match.
“The last match, I don’t know what happened. His opponent was doing an ankle pick – if you’re in a good stance, you’re not going to get ankle picked unless the kid’s really good at ankle picks. I got [Landry] over, and said ‘Where’s your stance? Get going with your stance’ and he went back out, had the same stance and got ankle picked again.”
Zwicker said Hughes’ was in tough in the freestyle class, but noted “he had a couple good wins.”
“The losses were respectful; he was in a stud weight class, and his opponents were really good.”
In March, Landry and Hughes both travelled to Syracuse to compete in the Mohawk Valley International – their first taste of Greco-Roman wrestling. The experience was invaluable coming into Nationals Zwicker said.
“The time in Syracuse really paid off, because they had a Greco tournament under their belt. We also spent four practices just Greco, which helped.”
Landry won a silver medal during the Syracuse tournament – which was his first taste of Greco-Roman competition.
Zwicker praised Landry for his performance in the Greco-Roman discipline during nationals, and noted “he loves the Greco.”
“All these matches in Greco, I’m telling him what to do, and he’s doing, it. He was really doing well.
“He wrestled a kid from B.C. who was really good; his second match was back and forth, and he pulled a 12-11 win out of it. The mistakes he made, I told him what to do to correct it; he corrected it and it was just like clockwork, it was really nice.”
Zwicker explained in the final match, Landry met the same opponent of his final freestyle match – the match in which he fell 15-5.
“The last thing I said to him was ‘payback’ and he just grinned. He went out on the mat, and pinned him in 20 seconds.
“[His opponent] was mad because he thought, ‘I smoked this kid 15-5 on Friday, this is going to be an easy final’; he had already won the match in his mind. And then John Luc catches him in an over and under throw, and pins him,” Zwicker said, adding, “It was awesome.”
Landry, a Grade 10 student, is modest about the win, and said he was “already pretty happy” to reach the final, and added “I didn’t expect to win at all.”
“I was happy, but shocked because I didn’t think I was going to win. He went to do a throw, and made a mistake, and he was learning backwards, and I pinned him,” Landry said, noting , the win was the most memorable part of the tournament.
The national tournament is the final wrestling competition of the season, but Landry said he hopes to compete in the Greco-Roman competition at Syracuse and at Nationals next year.