By: Lauren Mason
During the annual SFU Open wrestling tournament that took place over the weekend, SFU was host to 29 wrestling clubs from both the USA and Canada. For SFU, there were standout performances by Nishan Randhawa and Chloe Rogers who both finished first within their weight classes.
The men’s side saw and especially strong performance from Randhawa, who is a sophomore competing in the 97 kg division. Randhawa took a win over fellow Clan wrestler Morgan Smith in a close 2–0 match. Smith is a returning All-American with a 26–4 record from the prior season.
On the women’s side, Chloe Rogers, competing in the 65 kg division, led the way for the Clan by winning three matches in order to win the tournament. Rogers had a tough first match where she was able to defeat Megan Fendelet (Bears) in a 14–13 win by decision match. This was Rogers’ toughest match of the day. Her next opponent from Gray Harbor WC was not as tough an opponent to beat and Rogers was easily able to walk away with a 10–0 win. For her final match of the day, Rogers had to go up against fellow Clan teammate Alison Horne. The last win of the day allowed Rogers to win the gold for SFU.
Depending on the weight-class and the number of wrestlers signed up for the weight class, the tournament ran in a mix of bracket-style and round robin style matches, depending on the number of wrestlers competing in the given weight division.
The women’s 55 kg division ran in a round robin style tournament and saw two SFU teammates competing for the top spot. SFU’s Sunita Sewak won her first match in a convincing fashion as she dominated the match and won 10–0 over Warner Pacific’s Angie Sletten. However, Sewak fell short on the day as she lost to SFU freshman Brooklyn Bartleson in a close 4–2 match.
Senior wrestler Cruz Velasquez, opened up his tournament in a spectacular way with two back-to-back wins by technical fall (10–0 point difference). Velasquez’s winning streak ended in the final match when he fell to Edmonton’s Michael Asselstine.
“Just like any other tournament, it’s good to get in that competitive state of mind. It was a tough go in the final, but now I know what I need to work on in order to get ready for the upcoming competitions this season,” notes Velasquez. This is Cruz’s final year on the varsity team.
SFU’s Nolan Badovinac took second in his division. His tournament started off with a bye, and his first match took place against Clan freshman Connor Patterson. Badovinac won by decision over Patterson, who wrestled unattached for the tournament. Nolan lost to Hunter Lee from the University of Saskatchewan 12–7 in finals.
Logan Nelson also captured a silver medal for the Clan, winning three matches and only losing one within the 79 kg weight class. He wrestled his way to three technical fall wins before losing a close 4–3 match to University of Calgary’s John Fayad.
Wrestling head coach Justin Abdou was pleased with the performances from both the men’s and women’s team. “I’m pretty happy that both our guys and girls had the chance to wrestle. [For the women], they had the chance to compete two weekends in a row and they will be competing the next two as well, and that will give us a pretty good idea of what the team is going to look like later on in the season.”
The Clan men will host North Idaho College in their only home dual meet on November 10 at 7 p.m. in the West Gym. On November 11, both the men and the women will step on the mat in the Mike Clock Open taking place down in Oregon.
Aliocha Perriard-Abdoh is a member of the women’s wrestling team.