NCWC News, 2013/2014

Commonwealth Games, July 31st

On July 31st, 2014, Craig Miller competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He wrestled for his home country of New Zealand, but lived in Ottawa and trained with the NCWC from October 2013 until he left for the Games. It took years of work for him to accomplish this goal, and the NCWC is proud to have been part of his journey. He went 1-1, defeating an opponent from Mauritius before losing to a Sri Lankan.

For the 31 days before he left for Glasgow, Craig made Facebook posts to thank the people who helped him reach his dream. The 17th day was the day of his going away party with the NCWC, when Craig posted some very kind words that we'd like to feature here:

So on a night where I said goodbye to a whole heap of faces who have become my Canadian family I will dedicate day 17 to them.

Now I've already mentioned the amazing and mystical Little Dean, and my raft of training Partners, but tonight I will call out the plethora of deputies at NC.

Sarah Stringer, Sarah Swan, Deborah Jehu, Dante Vecchio, Jeff Doyle, Evan Lavoie, and Mike Smith

So these guys, and guyesses, have a vast and varied lot of experience. And I love the little tweaks and moves I have picked up from these fine coaches over the last 9 months.

All of them have worked one on one with me at some point, and all of them have taught me something.

I have said that I have undoubtedly improved in Canada. I honestly don't know if I would of made the Games had I not taken this bold jaunt to the wintery north. I have thought about this a lot recently, and I tend to err on the side of not, I of course am thankful to this troupe of people I greatly admire. I am happy i made the move, and so glad we settled on O-town.

Coaching and leading is a very individual thing, there is no one best or most successful style. These guys have a mixture. Reserved and loud, soft and hard, methodical and erratic. They work well as a team, and have a mutual respect and understanding for each other. They all share a common purpose, and go about it with vigor.

I like these guys a lot.

These guys work hard to improve the club, and the level of wrestling that goes on within it.

A good coach invests into their charges, not only to impart knowledge and skills, but cares for them and seeks the best for them. One invests so much that she spends years holding grudges against opposing victorious wrestlers long after the athlete themself has forgotten the match.

I will miss this team.

I was never the best wrestler in the training room, I was never the one with the most potential, I was not the fastest, strongest or most technical. As I have said before, the best coaches offer something to all that train under them, not just the favoured one, or chosen few.

I will miss this team.

Again, I have enjoyed my time in Canada, and I have loved my time with the National Capital Wrestling Club.

I will miss this team.

So thank you NC, and thanks to the coaching staff who helped improve me enough to get to Glasgow. I will pay this forward.

The NCWC would like to thank Craig for all he's contributed during his time at the club. He's been an inspiration to have in the room, and though he'll be returning to New Zealand after the Games, he's formed lasting connections with many of the wrestlers in Ottawa.

The NCWC is also very proud of alumna Erica Wiebe, who competed at the Commonwealth Games on July 29th. She defeated opponents from Cameroon, England, Nigeria, and India, going 4-0 to win a gold medal for Canada. This further cements her spot in the FILA rankings, where she is currently ranked #1 in the world at the 75-kilogram weight class.

Summer tournaments

Over the summer, the NCWC sent wrestlers to several tournaments, including the Massachusetts State Championships in the USA, the Pan-American Championships in Toronto, and the Canada Cup in Guelph.

Massachusetts State Championships, June 22nd

Rhiannon Digweed: 3-0, gold

Peter Shannon: 1-3, bronze

Craig Miller: 0-4

Junior Pan American Championships, June 28th

Augusta Eve: 1-2, bronze

Senior Canada Cup, July 5th

Alex Brown: 3-1, bronze

Craig Miller: 1-2

Pre-Junior Canada Cup, July 6th

Rhiannon Digweed: 3-0, gold

Augusta Eve: 2-2, fourth

Mel Eve: 1-2, fourth

Reza Fakhraei: 1-2

International Updates and Canada East

NCWC wrestlers have participated in several tournaments in the month of May. On May 10th, Marielle Digweed competed in the bantam division at the Canada East Youth Wrestling Festival in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. She only had one girl in her 40-kilogram category, who she wrestled twice and finished 0-2, but fought hard and gained valuable experience.

On May 10th-11th, Tanner Lapiene finished 6th in freestyle and 5th in Greco at the Empire State Championships. This success came after a 4-0 record, and a gold medal, at the Freestyle Holland Patent New York tournament on May 3rd.

Finally, Craig Miller, who's been living in Ottawa and training with the NCWC since October, was recently granted the opportunity to compete for New Zealand in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He'll be wrestling in Glasgow, Scotland on July 31st.

Ontario Youth Wrestling Festival, April 26th

The NCWC sent five wrestlers to the Ontario Youth Wrestling Festival in Scarborough this year, winning a combined four medals.

Novice results
Yusuf Khan: 2-1, silver

Kid results
Isa Khan: 1-1, silver
Matthew Vecchio: 2-1, silver

Bantam results
Marielle Digweed: 2-0, gold
Moiz Lakhani: 0-2

Canadian Cadet/Juvenile Championships, April 4th-5th

The NCWC sent nine wrestlers to Cadet/Juvenile nationals in Guelph, and had many excellent performances, including three Juveniles in the semi-finals.

Juvenile results

Quinlan Walker: 5-1, bronze

Wassim Ghadban: 4-2, fourth

Evan Takach: 2-3, sixth

Andrea Pretty: 1-2

Claire Lizotte: 1-2

Rhiannon Digweed: 0-2

Brad Wiesenfeld: 0-2

Cadet results

Jeff Williamson: 2-2

Mel Eve: 1-2

In other recent news, a couple of wrestlers from out of the country are currently training with the NCWC. On April 6th, American Tanner Lapiene won the Ogdensburg Folkstyle tournament in New York. On March 22nd, Craig Miller won the Oceania Championships in American Samoa, continuing his quest to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games. Congratulations to all NCWC wrestlers, Canadian and otherwise!

Canadian Junior/Senior Championships, March 21st-23rd

The NCWC sent three wrestlers to the 2014 Junior/Senior nationals in Edmonton, and saw two alumni compete as well. They all faced very tough competition, and gained valuable experience.

Junior results

Augusta Eve: 3-0, gold

Rhiannon Digweed: 0-2

Senior results

Joe Greer: 1-2 in freestyle, 2-1 for silver in Greco-Roman

Alumni Ben Christopher (University of Winnipeg) and Ilya Abelev (University of New Brunswick) also competed. Ilya finished 2-2 in the senior division, and Ben took sixth place in the junior division, finishing 2-3.

Mohawk Valley International Wrestling Festival, March 15th

The NCWC got some good matches in at this international tournament, using it to see new opponents and gear up for nationals.

Evan Takach: 3-1, gold

Sarah Swan: 2-0, gold

Rhiannon Digweed: 2-1, silver

Maly Muk: 2-2, fifth

Jensen MacDonald: 2-2, fifth

Marisa Becherel: 2-2

Manny Haiby: 0-4

OFSAA, March 5th-6th

The NCWC had a successful performance at OFSAA in Brampton this year, qualifying many wrestlers from different high schools, and producing two OFSAA champions.

Quinlan Walker: 5-0, gold

Augusta Eve: 4-0, gold

Josh Bwolo: 5-3, sixth

Mel Eve: 3-2

Rhiannon Digweed: 3-2

Evan Takach: 2-2

Claire Lizotte: 2-2

Khalid Mahmood: 2-2

Maly Muk: 1-2

Brad Wiesenfeld: 1-2

Andrea Pretty: 0-2

Ontario Cadet/Juvenile Championships, Feb 1st-2nd
The NCWC had an outstanding performance at the 2014 Cadet/Juvenile Provinical Championships in Sudbury, winning second overall in the women's and combined Juvenile team categories. Congratulations to everyone who competed!

Juvenile results
Wassim Ghadban: 3-0, gold
Quinlan Walker: 4-0, gold
Augusta Eve: 2-0, gold
Claire Lizotte: 1-1, silver
Andrea Pretty: 1-1, silver
Rhiannon Digweed: 2-1, bronze
Evan Takach: 3-2, fifth
Maly Muk: 1-2

Cadet results
Taylor Robinson: 3-1, silver
Devan Larkin: 3-2, fourth
Mel Eve: 2-2, fifth

Ontario Juniors and Queen's Open, January 25th-26th
During the last weekend of January, the NCWC traveled to Kingston for the Ontario Junior Championships and the Queen's Open. The trip featured, among other things, coach Chris Schrauwen's first return to competition since 2006.

Ontario Juniors results
Rhiannon Digweed: 2-1, silver
Augusta Eve: 1-1, silver
Marisa Becherel: 0-3, fourth
Josh Bwolo: 3-2, fourth
Dawit Tucker: 0-2

NCWC alumni Emma Crouch (Guelph), Brent Davies (Guelph), and Tom Marshall (Queen's) competed as well, with Emma winning gold in the 51-kilo category.

Queen's Open results
Ben Sayah, 3-0, gold
Chris Schrauwen: 2-1, silver
Josh Bwolo: 3-2
Joe Greer: 0-3

National Capital Wrestling Festival, January 11th
The ninth annual National Capital Wrestling Festival was a great success! Thanks to all the volunteers from Ottawa and Renfrew who put in many hours to make it happen.

Youth results
Adelaide Eve: gold
Yusaf Khan: gold
Deelaka Appuhamy: gold
Cooper Curcio: silver
Moiz Lakhani: silver
Isa Khan: silver
Matt Vecchio: silver
Marielle Digweed: bronze
Manual Berlanga: fourth
Rhea Forrester: fourth

High school results
Mel Eve: gold
Devan Larkin: gold
Jeff Williamson: gold
Evan Takach: gold
Josh Bwolo: gold
Quinlan Walker: gold
Marisa Becherel: gold
Rhiannon Digweed: gold
Claire Lizotte: gold
Manny Haiby: gold
Dan Allen: silver
Taylor Robinson: silver
Reza Fakhraei: silver
Brad Wiesenfeld: silver
Nadia David: silver
Andrea Pretty: bronze
Maly Muk: fourth
Jensen MacDonald: fourth
Zeina Sannallah: fourth
Mohamed Mohamed: fifth
Minnie Samson: fifth
Maria Ramos: fifth

Kingston and Matmen, December 14th
On December 14th, the NCWC attended three tournaments in one day, sending younger wrestlers to Kingston for the Bill MacLeod Memorial Tournament as well as the qualifiers for the Eastern Ontario Winter Games, and sending six juveniles to the Matmen Classic in Brampton.

Bill MacLeod Memorial Tournament results
Augusta Eve: 3-0, gold
Mel Eve: 3-0, gold
Khalid Mahmoud: 3-1, silver
Taylor Robinson: 1-1, silver
Reza Fakhraei: 1-2, bronze
Jensen MacDonald: 3-2, fourth
Moiz Lakhani: 1-2, fifth
Maly Muk: 0-2

Also in Kingston, Mel and Adelaide Eve, Marielle Digweed, and Taylor Robinson qualified for the Winter Games.

Matmen Classic results
Quinlan Walker: 3-1, silver
Josh Bwolo: 3-1, bronze
Claire Lizotte: 3-1, bronze
Marisa Becherel: 1-2, fifth
Evan Takach: 0-2
Wassim Ghadban: 0-1, pulled out due to injury

Valley Classic, December 7th
The NCWC had an excellent performance at the Valley Classic in Renfrew, winning the boys, girls, and combined team titles.

Wassim Ghadban: 2-0, gold in 77 kg; 2-0, gold in 85 kg
Johnny Lopez: 3-0, gold
Andrea Pretty: 2-0, gold (also won an exhibition match)
Claire Lizotte: 3-0, gold (also won an exhibition match)
Evan Takach: 2-0, gold (also won an exhibition match)
Mel Eve: 4-0, gold
Adelaide Eve: 2-0, gold
Marisa Becherel: 3-0, gold
Rhiannon Digweed: 2-0, gold
Dan Allen: 3-0, gold
Marielle Digweed: 0-2, silver
Brad Wiesenfeld: 0-2, silver
Moiz Lakhani: 2-1, silver
Reza Fakhraei: 1-1, silver
Maly Muk: 1-2, bronze
Mahmoud Kenawi: 1-2, bronze
Cooper Curcio: 0-2, bronze
Olivia Manchur: 0-2, bronze
Jenson MacDonald: 0-2, bronze
Taylor Robinson: 0-2, bronze

Quebec Open, November 30th
Devan Larkin: 4-0, gold
Mel Eve: 2-0, gold
Dan Allen: 2-0, gold
Evan Takach: 2-0, gold
Quinlan Walker: 2-0, gold
Adelaide Eve: 3-0, gold
Rhiannon Digweed: 3-0, gold
Andrea Pretty: 2-1, silver
Reza Fahkraei: 2-1, silver
Manuel Berlanga: 0-1, silver
Wassim Ghadban: 2-2
Josh Bwolo: 1-2
Khalid Mahmoud: 1-2
Brad Wiesenfeld: 2-2
Marielle Digweed: 0-3
Mally Muk: 0-2

Sudbury Early Bird Tournament, November 9th
Marisa Becherel: 2-0, gold
Andrea Pretty: 3-0, gold
Quinlan Walker: 3-0, gold
Marielle Digweed: 0-3, silver
Filipe Jimenez: 3-1, silver
Olivia Manchur: 1-1, silver
Wassim Ghadban: 3-1, bronze
Reza Fahkrea: 0-2
Devan Larkin: 1-2
Marc Obiorah: 1-2

Concordia Invitational, October 27th
Craig Miller: 2-2, fourth
Wassim Ghadban: 2-2, fifth
Quinlan Walker: 2-3, sixth
Claire Lizotte: 1-3
Ivan Toshev: 2-2
Devan Larkin: 0-2
Filipe Jimenez: 0-2
Joe Greer: 0-2
Augusta Eve: 1-2
Evan Takach: 0-4
Rhiannon Digweed: 1-4