By Kristy Koehler, September 25 2018 —
In February, varsity wrestling teams from across the country will converge in Calgary to compete in the 2019 U Sports National Wrestling Championships.
The championship typically alternates between east- and west-coast venues annually. This year, following a successful bid by Dinos Athletics, the event was awarded to the University of Calgary.
Hosting championships represents significant cost-savings for the team, as no travel is required to compete. Last year, the athletic department at U of C attended more national championships than any other university under the U Sports banner, often travelling across the country to compete. While that doesn’t sound like a bad problem to have, it can get costly. The chance to compete in Calgary is a welcome one, not only for the financial aspect, but for the excitement of competing on home turf.
“It is exciting to have our own team competing at home in a national championship,” said head coach Mitch Ostberg. “Typically in a five-year eligibility cycle, it would be rare for an athlete to compete at home in a national championship. It’s a pretty special opportunity.”
There are 38 athletes on the Dinos roster — two people per weight class. While only one spot is available for the competition, having two athletes ensures that the Dinos are competitive in all categories, with the athletes challenging each other for the starting spot and filling in for their teammates in the unfortunate event of an injury.
“The goal is to have a full team at Canada West, to have someone in every weight class,” Ostberg said. “I’m pretty happy with the size of the team right now. The athletes challenge each other to make the best performance at the championship.”
To qualify for Canada West, the team must compete in at least two regular season tournaments. The night before a tournament the team typically hosts a dual meet — a head-to-head competition where teams go up the weight classes one match at a time, keeping score in each class in order to generate a team outcome.
After the first tournament, national rankings will be generated by U Sports. The Dinos first dual meet takes place Oct. 26 in the Red Gym at 6 p.m.
The 2019 U Sports National Wrestling Championships will take place Feb. 22–23, 2019.