UFV’s Parker McBride takes control of SFU’s Pritpaul Johal during the Cascades Classic on Sunday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

UFV wrestlers earn nine top-three finishes at home

Fifth annual Cascades Classic wrestling meet sees trio of men finish first

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s and women’s wrestling teams impressed at the fifth annual Cascades Classic tournament held at the school on Sunday.

The Cascades combined for nine top-three finishes, highlighted by first-place results on the men’s side for Brad Hildenbrandt (130 kilograms), Karan Dhillon (82 kg), Parker McBride (57 kg) and Ali Rahguzar (61 kg).

Team-wise, the Saskatchewan Huskies took home the men’s and women’s aggregate banners. The Huskies amassed 47 points on the men’s side to edge the second-place Cascades (40 points). On the women’s side, Sask piled up 28 points to finish ahead of the SFU Clan (25), Calgary Dinos (20) and the Cascades (16).

Two-time U Sports national gold medalist Hildenbrandt had to come through it the clutch to win the men’s heavyweight division on Sunday. Trailing 4-1 in the second round against Ali Al-Rekabi of the Montreal Wrestling Club, Hildenbrandt scored on a pair of two-pointers in the final minute – the last one coming with just 20 seconds left on the clock – to prevail 5-4.

Dhillon’s run to the 82 kg crown was less dramatic – he won all three of his matches either by pin or technical superiority. McBride went 2-0 to win the 57 kg class, defeating runner-up Pritpaul Johal of SFU by an 11-4 count.

On the women’s side, all three UFV competitors finished second in their respective weight classes. Reigning Canada West champ Ana Godinez Gonzalez won both of her matches in the 63 kg division by technical superiority, but withdrew prior to the final as a precautionary measure due to injury.

UFV’s Amber Wiebe won her first two matches at 55 kg by tech, before falling in the final to Calgary’s Tianna Kennett. Rookie Calista Espinosa also finished second at 48 kg.

The Cascades Classic served as a preview of sorts for the 2019 Canada West Wrestling Championships, which will be hosted by UFV for the first time in program history, Feb. 8-9.

Slideshow by: John Morrow/Abbotsford News

UFV also hosted the Western Canada Age Class Wrestling Championships on Friday and Saturday. Wrestlers from all over the province grappled for greatness.

Video by: Sonia Khurana/Black Press

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