By Kristy Koehler, February 28 2019 —
The Dinos hosted the U Sports national wrestling championships over reading break and almost 150 athletes from across the country came to compete at the University of Calgary.
“It was a very exciting event,” said Mitch Ostberg, head coach of Dinos wrestling. “We had lots of fan support, lots of cheering, lots of real tough battles for U Sports medals.
“I thought we did an exceptionally good job,” Ostberg added. “Dinos Athletics was the host and the department worked very hard to make a very nice event for the athletes. It was really well laid out, well thought out, and very exciting with very good presentations of U Sports wrestling.”
Were the athletes nervous about competing on home turf at nationals this year? Second-year wrestler Erin Geddie wasn’t.
“I was more excited,” she said. “It’s good exposure for our wrestling team and it gets the word out there that we have a number of high-level athletes that come out and we were able to show up and compete with the best of the best.”
Tianna Kennett, a third-year wrestler, wasn’t too nervous either. She focused on having fun and enjoying the match.
“In this whole tournament I just really wanted to have a lot of fun,” she said.
Both women were well trained and well prepared. Kennett knew she was ready because of the time she had put in training.
“We train on the mat five days a week, sometimes six,” she said. “And then we have strength and conditioning — a mixture of weights and cardio.”
Geddie watched film of her competitors as well as re-watched her own matches to see what changes she needed to implement.
“It’s about taking it one match at a time, not worrying about basing my training on outcome but moreso focusing on the process,” she said. “What am I going to do this next 30 seconds? What am I going to do this next minute? Really, just taking it one match at a time.”
What does Geddie love about wrestling?
“I love the individuality of it,” she said. “It’s very much a team sport in that you’re competing as a team for the common goal of getting the banner at the end of the day, but you’re also competing for yourself. I love the mental toughness that’s required of wrestling. It’s definitely one of those things where you have to be in the right mental state in order to show up every day and compete with the best of the best.”
Both Geddie and Kennett say wrestling is an inclusive environment.
“I think wrestling is one of the best environments,” Geddie said. “I think wrestling is one of the most inclusive sports because it doesn’t matter who you are, what kind of body type you have, there’s a variety of weight classes. Really, anyone can wrestle.”
Overall, the Dinos took home five medals and the Dinos female athletes were well-represented. Dinos wrestlers Kennett and Connor McNeice won silver medals, while Geddie, Amy Bellavia and Vivian Mark all won bronze medals.