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Ready to rumble

Emerging from a small wrestling club in northern Ontario, Indira Moores and siblings Victoria and Alannah Day know that they have two clear-cut advantages: they have coach Andy Lalonde on their side, and they have each other.
Sudbury Regional Wrestling Club members (from left) Alannah Day, Victoria Day and Indira Moores, pictured with coach, Andy Lalonde, have been posting win after win at events across Canada and abroad over the past few months. Randy Pascal Photo.
Emerging from a small wrestling club in northern Ontario, Indira Moores and siblings Victoria and Alannah Day know that they have two clear-cut advantages: they have coach Andy Lalonde on their side, and they have each other.

And based on the results posted over the past few months, that seems to be plenty for the trio representing the Sudbury Regional Wrestling Club at events across Canada and abroad.

With Moores and Victoria already having medalled at the OFSAA high school championships in March, it was time to tackle the best in the country as the young ladies travelled to Fredericton, site of the Cadet/Juvenile National Championships, a few weeks back.

Both Moores and Alannah topped their respective weight classifications, earning gold medals, while Victoria bounced back from a fourth-place finish on Saturday, finishing second at the FILA Trials on Sunday and earning a berth on the Canadian team that will compete at the Junior Pan American Games in Venezuela come July.

Generally separated by a weight differential of perhaps seven to 10 kilograms, the wrestlers rely heavily on the ability to push each other.
“We practice together all the time,” Alannah said.

She made her debut on the local high school scene this year as a Grade 9 student at Lockerby Composite.

“Me and Indira wrestled each other in mini-meets in high school and that was hard,” the 15-year-old added. “We knew each other so well, we knew what was coming.”

However, as might be expected, intra-family rivalries don’t always make for the best mix athletically.

“Wrestling with my sister kind of gets me angry,” older sister Victoria said. “The technique is OK, but once we get wrestling, it usually gets a little ‘catty.’”

Undoubtedly, some of the tension comes from the fact that while Victoria, at age 16 and in Grade 11, is the elder of the two, Alannah is bigger, wrestling in a higher weight class and generally getting the better of her big sister in practice.

“Wrestling with Indira is really good,” Victoria said. “She really pushes me and we work well together.”

While many maintain that the three musketeers share certain competitive similarities, starting with an incredible drive to win, their coach insists that each can be easily and uniquely characterized.

“You’ll notice differences with all them,” Lalonde said. “Victoria is the scrappier of the three, Indira has the fastest pace, very dynamic, and Alannah is just a bull on the mat — the workhorse of the three.”

To that extent, each tends to draw on a variety of facets in order to finish with a place on the podium. Having celebrated her 18th birthday this month, Moores is preparing to graduate from Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School in June.
An OFSAA gold-medal-winner less than six weeks earlier, Moores was confident heading to nationals.

“I knew that winning was potentially going to happen,” she said. “I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. I wrestled smart. I was setting things up, looking for takedowns and not giving up any easy points.”

Competing in the toughest of the categories at 56 kg, Moores bulldozed her way to gold in New Brunswick.

All three young ladies earned a spot at the Canada Cup training camp in Guelph later this summer.

Making her first appearance at the event, Alannah definitely opened some eyes, looking impressive in claiming gold in the 60 kg cadet grouping.
“I don’t like to get ahead of myself,” she said.

“I try to think that winning is the only option. I know that if I don’t make it to the podium, I would be really mad at myself.”

She said the gold medal match was a tough one.
“The girl (from Quebec) was really, really strong, so I was more defensive,” Alannah said. “I couldn’t overpower her for once, so I really had to work my technique.”

Despite finishing fourth at nationals in the Juvenile 49 kg division, the silver medal at FILA on the final day of competition provided a more than worthwhile consolation prize for Victoria, who is also heading to South America later this summer.

“With Indira and Alannah, historically, there’s a lot of gold medals,” she said. “For me, it’s been silver and bronze.”

All of which made the berth on Team Canada that much more rewarding.
“I wrestled better in FILA — I was feeling a little more confident,” Victoria said. “I was really sore, really tired, but when you’re on the mat, that doesn’t really phase you.”

Three days of wrestling is exactly why coach Lalonde spends hours of practice and preparation with his young crew, a group that always keeps him on his toes.

“I knew that it was just a matter of time, but I was happy it all came together,” Lalonde said. “They’re friends, they all get along and they keep it fun. They’re pretty witty, so we get a lot of wisecracks.”

The head coach for both the Sudbury Regional Wrestling Club as well as the newly formed Laurentian University team, Lalonde said there might be certain advantages in dealing with the fairer sex.

“In certain ways, the girls are a little easier to coach than boys,” he said. “There’s not all those ‘backyard wrestling’ bad habits that have already been developed.”

Based on the glut of hardware heading north these days, there’s hardly any bad habits at all.

Randy Pascal is the founder of and a contributing sports editor for Northern Life.

Posted by Vivian Scinto