Cascades wrestling stocks up with Abbotsford talent

Cascades wrestling stocks up with Abbotsford talent

Four local grapplers joining UFV wrestling team

The University of the Fraser Valley’s crop of 2017 wrestling recruits is ready to hit the mat.

Cascades coaches Raj Virdi and Arjan Bhullar have signed 14 athletes – nine male, five female – as they continue to build a program which delivered UFV’s first U SPORTS national gold medal last season.

The class is highlighted by four recruits from Abbotsford. Locals Navdeep Toor, Tanjot Kahlon, Sajjan Randhawa and Eknoor Bajwa all were inked by the club.

The Cascades were also able to reach outside the fertile recruiting ground of the Fraser Valley for several other blue-chip athletes, including Parker McBride (men’s 54 kg) of Duvall, Wash.; Brampton, Ont. product Jacob Torres (men’s 61 kg); and Tristina Howse (women’s 72 kg) of Prince George.

“I think this class’s impact will be great,” head coach Virdi stated. “We have great quantity and quality this year.”

Abbotsford’s Toor was named the most outstanding male wrestler at the 2017 B.C. high school championships after claiming his fourth provincial gold medal. He’s a three-time national champ, and has represented Canada three times internationally at the cadet level. In 2015, he won a bronze medal at the Pan-Am championships.

“He’s got all the talent in the world, and he’ll have a big impact right away,” Virdi said. “He’s fast, he’s strong, he’s got great technique. Now we’ve just got to get some toughness into him to get him ready for the international stage.”

Local product Tanjot Kahlon has put together outstanding results both provincially and nationally. He has climbed the podium at the B.C. high school championships each of the last three years (gold in 2017, silver in 2016, bronze in 2015), and helped his Abby Traditional Titans take the boys team title in 2015. He’s also a former Canadian national champion (2014, cadet 63 kg).

“He’s very strong for his size,” Virdi said. “And for being such a big guy, he’s very agile on his feet.”

Randhawa is another promising Abbotsford athlete who Virdi is very familiar with.

“He’s a tough kid who loves wrestling,” Virdi said. “He’s still got a lot of learning to do, and that’s a task we’ve decided to take on because once Brad graduates, he’s probably going to be our No. 1 guy.”

Abbotsford’s Bajwa climbed the podium at B.C. high school provincials each of the past two years, following a silver medal in 2016 with gold in 2017. He also owns national championship hardware, highlighted by a silver medalist (cadet, 58 kg) in 2015.

“He’s able to attack and finish very easily once he gets in,” Virdi said. “And he’s very resilient – his composure never changes throughout the whole match.”

For more details on the other recruits, visit ufvcascades.ca.