With the Canada West wrestling championships looming, the UFV Cascades hosted their second annual tournament, the Cascade Classic, on Sunday at the Envision Athletic Centre.
The event drew 70 wrestlers from four other Canada West wrestling programs, and Cascades wrestlers Pravi Dhaliwal (women’s 59 kg) and Devin Purewal (men’s 72 kg) also hit the mat.
Dhaliwal, a rookie out of Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary, finished third in her weight class, dropping matches to Ashley Osachuk of the Burnaby Mountain wrestling club and Saskatchewan’s Faye Tuck. Purewal, a sophomore who won a Canada West silver medal last season, was battling a nagging shoulder issue and finished fifth in his division.
Brad Hildenbrandt, competing on behalf of the UFV non-varsity wrestling club, finished fourth in the heavyweight (130 kg) division. The Saskatchewan Huskies finished atop the team standings on both the men’s and women’s sides.
Dhaliwal called the Cascades Classic a learning experience heading into the conference championships.
“The first year has definitely been a lot harder than high school wrestling – it’s a whole different game,” she said. “It’s definitely a big jump. but it feels good now, because I know what I need and what I need to work on to be successful.”
“We had good matches – Pravi and Devin wrestled well. There’s always things to work on, always things to build on,” said UFV co-head coach Arjan Bhullar. “We’re really focusing on them and getting the results we want individually (at the Canada West championships). They’ve been committed and consistent throughout the year, so we’re excited.”
The Canada West conference championships run Feb. 12 and 13 at the University of Winnipeg.