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Three times a charm for Sudbury wrestlers

Trio of bronze medals at OFSAA
Quade Howald (left) was one of three Sudbury wrestlers to win bronze at the OFSAA Wrestling Championships in Brampton. Supplied photo.

Zoe Mullin-Belanger (Lo-Ellen) would need five bouts, Quade Howald (Sacré-Coeur) stretched that by one and Racha El-Darazi (Confederation) topped them both, overcoming a second round loss and reeling off six straight wins.

In the end, all three local wrestlers would share SDSSAA bragging rights at the 2017 OFSAA Wrestling Championship in Brampton, with the trio all returning north with bronze medals in hand.

Competing in the 77 kg weight class, Mullin-Belanger recorded wins over Hailey Thorne (Tecumseh) and Emily Oakes (Cameron Heights), but fell to eventual silver medal winner Nicole French (Humberview) in her third match.

She would rebound, however, by taking out Angel Williamson (St. Francis Xavier) and Ashley Gravelle (ESP Renaissance) to finish just one spot back of French.

Howald, who became the first local male wrestler to medal since Spencer Burton (Chelmsford) in 2010, started off strongly, getting the better of Maximus Meekis (Pelican Falls), Branislav Orescanin (Richview) and William Layman (Tecumseh) right out of the gate.

Tyson Fletcher (Holy Cross) would stop Howald in his tracks, en route to a silver medal, but the local returned to his winning ways against familiar foes, beating both Orescanin and Layman for a second time each and finishing third in the 95 kg division.

With limited to no competition in the 95 kg class locally this year, Howald opted to compete in the unlimited division, cutting back in time for the NOSSA championship. Heading into OFSAA with a goal of cracking the top three, the 17-year-old future mechanical engineering student was focused on areas that he could control.

"It doesn't matter who it is, I have to do what I do best," said Howald. "I have to control the match. I can't let them control my movements, I have to go at my pace."

As for El-Darazi, who finished fourth in her grouping at the 2016 OFSAA meet, she followed a familiar trend, having recorded the most wins of any local wrestler both last year (with six) and this year (with seven).

Her very busy schedule was necessary when she followed up a victory over Rosalee Graham (Thomson) with a loss at the hands of Elinor Brown (Bishop Ryan), who went on to claim gold.

El-Darazi bested, in succession, Esther Bartlett (Stratford Northwestern), Emily Boice (Tecumseh), Gracie Groulx (Beamsville), Leela Benjamin (Denis Morris), Dayjanea Johnson (Sandwich) and Mackenzie Millar (St Joseph's) in order to earn her coveted bronze medal.

Remaining podium (top six) placements, on a local level, included 2016 silver medallist Jasmine Tessier of Macdonald-Cartier (fourth in 83 kg) and teammate Manon Paquette (fifth in 51 kg).

Following is a complete breakdown for all local wrestlers (based on our best efforts basis to not miss anyone):

Shawn Gauthier (Lasalle) 44 kg
beat Nayan Brahmbahatt (Guelph CVI)
lost to Joel Swarath (Sanders SS)
beat Adam Pengelly (Holy Cross)
lost to Logan Renaud (Holy Names)

Andrew Paris (Lasalle) 54 kg
lost to Hafez Issa (Robert Bateman)
lost to Reuben Walker (Port Perry)

André Larocque (CND) 57.5 kg
beat Robert Louttit (Dryden)
lost to Brayden Todd (Ingersoll)
lost to Gilles Wardell (Superior Heights)

Maxim Boucher (Champlain) 64 kg
beat Shane Weber (Stephen Lewis)
beat Evan Fitzgerald (Beamsville)
lost to Chris Renaud (Sandwich)
lost to Owen Nichols (Smith Falls)

Eric Tessier (ESMC) 67.5 kg
beat Calvin Conlin (Ernestown)
lost to Michael Sanchez (Holy Names)
beat Michael Watson (Bell HS)
lost to Cam Carter (Clarke Road)

Hunter Larabie (ESMC) 67.5 kg
lost to Dan Nicolav (Woburn CI)
beat Dawson Eimarson (Holy Cross)
lost to Liam Williamson (Churchill)

Jesse Saunders (Lasalle) 77 kg
lost to Mohammad Mohammad (Loyalist)
beat Ahmet Karaoglu (Nile Academy)
lost to Andrew Flank (Hammarskjold)

Justin Villeneuve (ESMC) 89 kg
lost to David Stoltz (Sacred Heart)
lost to Juan Leikis (Father Bressani)

Quade Howald (Sacre Coeur) 95 kg
beat Maximus Meekis (Pelican Falls)
beat Branislav Orescanin (Richview CI)
beat William Layman (Tecumseh Vista Academy)
lost to Tyson Fletcher (Holy Cross)
beat Branislav Orescanin (Richview CI)
beat William Layman (Tecumseh)

Kole Poitras-Paulin (Lasalle) 130 kg
lost to Lucas Brooks (Georgetown)
beat Daniel Laquiste (WL Mackenzie)
beat Jonathan Lubambala (Bishop Ryan)
lost to Arran Govindan (Neil McNeill)

Emily Whealy-McMillen (Confederation) 44 kg
lost to Kaitlyn Phanpha (Rockway)
beat Fiona Purpura (ESMC)
beat Maddie King (Parkside)
lost to Jaxon (Meagan) Smith (Trenton)

Fiona Purpura (ESMC) 44 kg
lost to Mya Sandrin (St Patrick’s – Sarnia)
beat Anna Skinner (Barrie North)
lost to Emily Whealy-McMillen (Confederation)

Alexis Amyotte (Champlain) 47.5 kg
lost to Emily Persaud (North Albion)
lost to Hannah Lockwood (Bayside)

Manon Paquette (ESMC) 51 kg
beat Teresa Raso (Father Bressani)
lost to Jayden Sparkes (Cobourg CI)
beat Renata Goorberry (Pickering)
beat Kennedy Lagrove (Bell HS)
beat Onyinye Onyeka (Turner Fenton)
beat Hannah Vanderslagt (Great Lakes SS)
lost to Jayden Sparks (Cobourg CI)
beat Sarah DeJong (AB Lucas)

Caresse Couture (Lasalle) 54 kg
lost to Alexa Vanderhorst (Norwood)
lost to Kerri-Anne Lauder (Sinclair)

Sheila Esquib (Lasalle) 54 kg
lost to Leticia Rodrigues (Mentor College)
lost to Olivia Gillis (Resurrection)

Brooke Sagle (Lively) 67.5 kg
beat Kirtsen Carpenter (Dryden)
lost to Ellise Daynes (Bishop Ryan CHS)
lost to Andrea Everett (Churchill)

Zoe Mullin-Belanger (Lo-Ellen) 77 kg
beat Hailey Thorne (Tecumseh Vista Academy)
beat Emily Oakes (Cameron Heights CI)
lost to Nicole French (Humberview)
beat Angel Williamson (St Francis Xavier)
beat Ashley Gravelle (EP Renaissance)

Jasmine Tessier (ESMC) 83 kg
beat Angel Murray (College Avenue SS)
beat Danielle Belanger (Courtice SS)
beat Aleah Boersma (Northern CIVS)
lost to Sydney Lewis (St Ignatius)
beat Palona Ducre (Sandwich SS)
lost to Taryn McLachlan (Trenton)

Racha El-Darazi (Confederation) 115 kg
beat Rosalee Graham (Thomson CI)
lost to Elinor Brown (Bishop Ryan CHS)
beat Esther Bartlett (Stratford Northwestern)
beat Emily Boice (Tecumseh Vista Academy)
beat Gracie Groulx (Beamsville)
beat Leela Benjamin (Denis Morris)
beat DayJanea Johnson (Sandwich SS)
beat Mackenzie Millar (St Joseph’s)