UFV’s Calista Espinosa controls her opponent during the Cascades Classic event on Sunday. Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics

VIDEO: UFV’s Espinosa, Bains earn gold at Cascades Classic

Abbotsford event draws top wrestlers in the Canada West

Home sweet home on the mats turned into success for several UFV Cascades wrestlers at the annual Cascades Classic tournament in Abbotsford on Sunday.

UFV’s Calista Espinosa and Jason Bains earned gold in their respective divisions, both posting perfect 4-0 records at the event.

Espinosa took home top spot in the women’s 48 kilogram division, while Bains won the men’s 100 kg.

Espinosa won three of her four matches via pin. In her final match of the round-robin, taking on another undefeated wrestler in Golrokh Nouri of Simon Fraser University, Espinosa fell behind 5-1 before getting Nouri on her back for the pin to clinch the gold.

“She wrestled really well,” said head coach Gurjot Kooner. “The last couple weeks we’ve been working on a couple specific things … Before, she would come in on her attacks and kind of stop, but (Sunday)she was moving every single time. She didn’t give up easy points, and when people took bad shots on her, she’s starting to make them pay.”

Bains rolled through the 100 kg draw in dominant fashion – three of his wins came by technical superiority and one via pin, and none of them lasted very long.

“I don’t think he wrestled a full six-minute match (combined),” Kooner noted. “He’s technically really advanced, and he’s super strong as well. He’s a really good wrestler. He had a couple of mistakes in his first match where he got scored on, but that first-match rust, you get it out of the way. Otherwise, he did well.”

Three other Cascades wrestlers competed at the event, all earning bronze. UFV’s Ali Rahguzar (men’s 68 kg), Amarvir Atwal (men’s 76 kg) and Karan Dhillon (men’s 90 kg) all finished third.

Rahguzar, Atwal and Dhillon each fell in the semifinals to the eventual gold medalist in their weight classes.

Rahguzar bounced back to pin Isaiah Springer of the Alberta Golden Bears in his bronze-medal match. Atwal earned a 13-6 decision over Washington’s Chance Goodman to clinch his podium finish, and Dhillon defeated Summit Mann of the Miri Piri Wrestling Club by technical superiority to wrap up his medal.

Up next for the Cascades wrestlers is the Canada West championships, which run Feb. 8 ad 9 in Calgary.

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