Women’s wrestling comes home with two OUA bronze medals

Abel, Kudrinko only Gaels to medal at provincial championships

Karly Kurdinko (right) finished third in the her division.
Karly Kurdinko (right) finished third in the her division.
Credit: 
Supplied by Karly Kadrinko

The women’s wrestling team made it onto the podium twice at the OUA Championships in Guelph this past weekend. 

Wrestlers Megan Abel and Karly Kudrinko both finished in third place in the 51 and 55 kilogram divisions, respectively. Overall, Queen’s finished in sixth place among the female programs competing at the tournament. Brock added to their dominant reputation, finishing in first place for the fifth straight year.  

According to Kudrinko, Brock’s been the strongest wrestling program for some time. With Brock’s women’s team having won 18 of the past 22 OUA titles, she said the Gaels often struggle to break through to the podium. The Gaels’ sixth place finish was a large improvement from 2017-18, when they finished eighth overall.

“They usually have athletes competing in every weight class, while we only had a total of eight athletes competing at OUA’s this year,” Kudrinko said.

Kudrinko and Abel both had a chance to give Queen’s a podium finish and they capitalized on the opportunity. Kudrinko said her match was a little shorter, defeating her opponent in the first few minutes. 

“It was pretty quick—I pinned her in the first round,” Kudrinko said.

Abel, meanwhile, had an uphill battle going into the second half of her match in the 51 kilogram class. Kudrinko described watching her teammate from the sidelines to The Journal.

“[Abel’s] match was more exciting,” she said. After going down 8-0 early in the match—reaching 10 points seals the win for a wrestler—Abel fought back. “She came back in the second round to pin the girl. For her to come back after that sort of deficit was really exciting.”

Both were large victories for the comparatively smaller Queen’s team. Kudrinko spoke on behalf of the team about their performance this season, exuding pride about overcoming Ontario’s larger programs.

 “We surpassed a lot of people’s expectations. Even though we are a small program, coming sixth at the OUA championships on the women’s side was a strong result.”

With the provincial championships behind them, the Gaels are now turning their attention to the U Sports National Championships. With the tournament on Feb. 22-24 in Calgary, the Gaels are primarily proud to be representing Queen’s on a national scale, Kudrinko said. 

“We don’t really have expectations going in. We’re looking forward to going to Calgary and we’re happy that all of our hard work has given us the chance to compete for Queen’s on the national level.”

The team is hoping to build off a strong 2018-19 season, and will try to keep their momentum from nationals rolling into 2019-20. 

“We have quite a few [wrestlers] returning, and we’re hoping to do some recruiting for next year, so, hopefully we can have a bigger OUA team with athletes competing in more weight classes,” Kudrinko said.

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