York wrestler Omar Thomas takes bronze at provincial championships

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York University Lions wrestler Omar Thomas won the bronze medal in the 90-kilogram weight class at the 2014 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) wrestling championships on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Tait McKenzie Centre.

Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in sixth place in their respective standings.

Thomas, a second-year wrestler, won the third-place match by a score of 4-1 over Zane Zondervan from the University of Guelph Gryphons to pick up his first career medal at the OUA meet. To qualify for the medal round, he went 1-1 in the round robin, with a victory over Joban Phulka from the McMaster University Marauders and a loss to the Western University Mustangs’ Riley Otto, who went on to win the silver medal.

With the result, Thomas also qualified for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in two weeks.

Thomas was one of four Lions wrestlers who reached the medal round, with the other three all coming in fourth place in their respective weight classes. Greg Pierzchala was defeated by a 4-1 score in the 72-kilogram division, Pavan Dulai lost 5-0 in the 82-kilogram class and Sarah Perez earned the placing in the 48-kilogram division.

Overall, the Lions had 16 wrestlers competing at the OUA championships this season.

On the men’s side, the Lions had two fifth-place results courtesy of Thomas Carroll in the 61-kilogram division and Ali Aladiani in the 120-kilogram class, as well as two other competitors finish in sixth place in Armaan Neemuchwala in the 54-kilogram division and Aaron Williams in the 68-kilogram class.

On the women’s side, the Lions had a fifth-place finish by Emily DeWitt in the 72-kilogram division and three members of the team finish in sixth place in Nav Badwal in the 51-kilogram division, Urshian Khalid  in the 63-kilogram class and Minna Lin in the 59-kilogram class.

Rounding out the results were a trio of seventh-place results by Colleen Semple in the 55-kilogram division, Lorraine Yeung in the 67-kilogram class and Monique Frenette-Talaga in the 82-kilogram class.

Khalid was also named the recipient of the OUA community service award at the end of the meet.

Final Men’s Standings

1. Guelph Gryphons (78)

2. Brock Badgers (75)

3. McMaster Marauders (52)

4. Western Mustangs (50)

5. Lakehead Thunderwolves (33)

6. York Lions (31)

7. Queen’s Gaels (17)

8. Algoma Thunderbirds (15)

9. Laurentian Voyageurs (14)

10. Toronto Varsity Blues (9)

Final Women’s Standings

1. Western Mustangs (62)

2. Brock Badgers (60)

3. Guelph Gryphons (46)

4. Lakehead Thunderwolves (36)

5. McMaster Marauders (32)

6. York Lions (24)

7. Queen’s Gaels (14)

8. Toronto Varsity Blues (8)

9. Laurentian Voyageurs (7)

10. Algoma Thunderbirds (4)