With 15 wrestlers competing, Concordia University will have one of its largest teams ever at the U SPORTS championships that get under way Friday at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
On the men’s side, Concordia will have nine wrestlers spread out over the weight classes. The Stingers should pick up enough points to be one of the top ranking teams, and there should be several strong individual performances.
Leading the way will be Jordan Steen who was the outstanding rookie at the 2013 nationals. He won gold medals at 90 kilos in 2013 and 2016. This year he will compete at 100 kilos.
Vince De Marinis (65 kg) is a four-time medallist at the nationals, including gold medals in 2016 and 2017.
Alex Moore (90 kg) has a ton of experience and a long, impressive résumé for a rookie. There will be very high expectations for him.
Also watch for Frédérick Choquette (120 kg) who earned a bronze medal in 2017 and Francis Carter (68 kg) who is making his third appearance at the nationals. He finished fourth in his weight class in 2017 and fifth in 2016.
Rounding out the men’s side are several rookies: Samuel Barmish (82 kg), Aaron Orszak (76 kg), Guseyn Ruslanzada (72 kg) and Dylan McLean (61 kg).
At the 2017 championship, Concordia’s men’s team finished in sixth place. The Stingers won the team championship in 2011 and 2012 bringing the total to eight titles for Concordia since 1984.
On the women’s side, Concordia will have six competitors this year. That’s up from just two participants a year ago.
Jade Dufour (51 kg), who won a silver medal last year, will look to continue her success. She has won four out of five of her university competitions this season.
Veteran Geneviève Lamarche (72 kg) will return for her second nationals. She finished seventh in 2017.On the women’s side, the Stingers will also have several rookies on the mats.
Making their first national championship appearances are Kaya-Nadège Dubé Snow (55 kg), Laurence Beauregard (59 kg), Cristina Corecencova (63 kg) and Amanda Savard (67 kg).
In 2017, Concordia finished in 10th place out of 16 teams at nationals.
The wrestling team is coached by Victor Zilberman who has run the Concordia program since 1977. He has guided his athletes to 64 gold medals and eight team titles at the nationals.
Since 1980, Concordia has won 134 medals. In addition, nine Concordia athletes have been named the outstanding wrestler at the tournament, and Zilberman has been named Coach of the Year on five occasions - in 2012, 2011, 2006, 1986 and in 1984.