Amherst grabs three golds at WECSSAA wrestling championships


By Joel Charron

General Amherst sent eight wrestlers to the WECSSAA tournament last Wednesday in Essex and three of them returned with gold medals.

Chris Grondin, Aaron Harber and Matt Ward-Trymbulak each won their respective weight division and have advanced to the SWOSSAA tournament on Thursday, Feb. 16 in Sarnia.

Harber went into the tournament having not wrestled anyone in the 72 kg division. This also marked the first time Harber dropped down to the 72 kg division, as he usually wrestles at the 77 kg division.

“I wanted to go down a division to better myself,” said Harber.

The 18-year-old said he wasn’t in the best physical shape heading into the tournament because of cutting the five kilograms he needed to wrestle in the 72 kg division.


Three of eight Amherst wrestlers took home WECSSAA gold medals. Front row: (L to R) Matt Ward-Trymbulak and Aaron Harber. Back row: Chris Grondin. All three wrestlers have their sights set on SWOSSAA gold on Feb. 16

Harber breezed through his first two matches on his way to the finals. Facing a Forster opponent in the finals, Harber won the first set 6-0. In the second set, Harber went down 4-0 but came back in the last ten seconds to win the gold.

This is Harber’s second straight WECSSAA gold.

“I was really excited,” said Harber. “It was really nice to win it again.”

Ward-Trymbulak felt going into the WECSSAA tournament he had a good chance of winning gold in the 61 kg division and made good on his hunch.

In his first three matches, Ward-Trymbulak allowed a total of two points while dominating his opponents.

Ward-Trymbulak squared off against Will Elwood of Cardinal Carter in the finals and kept the Leamington wrestler off the board, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 gold medal win.

This is Ward-Trymbulak’s first WECSSAA gold medal.

“When my hand was raised it was a new feeling for me,” explained Ward-Trymbulak. “I’ve never been a gold medal champ before, it feels pretty good.”

Perhaps the most dominating performance of the tournament belonged to Chris Grondin in the unlimited weight division.

Heading into the tournament Grondin was undefeated and hadn’t allowed a single point in any of his matches all season.

“I was hyped for the tournament because this is the last time I’m ever going to be able to compete in WECSSAA,” said Grondin. “I really wanted to make a statement.”

Grondin manhandled his first two opponents, winning by points and pin. In the final, Grondin faced a wrestler from St. Joseph’s and pinned him in the second set on route to his second straight WECSSAA title.

All three Amherst wrestlers expect to medal at SWOSSAA.

“It’s SWOSSAA gold for all of us,” said Harber. “We don’t want to come home with anything less.”

“We are all very hungry and very motivated,” added Grondin.

First year wrestler Mike McNorgan missed out on a SWOSSAA bid by just one point.


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