The Stingers finished second in the team results, scoring 91 points. This was a significant improvement for the squad, which finished in fifth at last year’s nationals. The tournament was marked by gritty performances, but perhaps none as exciting as Francis Carter, who took home a gold medal in the 68-kilogram division.
Prior to his gold medal match, Carter only gave up two points in three matches. This was his third trip to the U Sports national wrestling championship. In 2016, Carter finished in fifth place. In 2017, he finished in fourth.
“I personally wanted to focus on relaxing mentally so that I could develop my tactical thinking during my matches,” Carter said about his preparation for this year’s nationals. “After [the past] results, there were no stressful expectations on me, which let me focus better on how I wanted to wrestle.”
On the women’s side, Jade Dufour, Laurence Beauregard and Amanda Savard all took home bronze medals.
Beauregard didn’t come to her first U Sports nationals with any expectations.
“This year, for me, was more about learning,” Beauregard said. “I wanted to go out there and fight hard and smart. [During the bronze medal match], I was losing at a certain point. I decided to take a couple of deep breaths and re-centre my focus on having quality attacks. This worked for me.”
Dufour knew the bronze medal match was do or die. “I was either going to be on the podium or in the stands. I did not want to be in the stands,” she said.
Vincent De Marinis and Jordan Steen also won gold medals. Samuel Barmish, Alex Moore, Frédérick Choquette and rookie Guseyn Ruslanzada all added bronze medals to the Stingers’s tally. This was the third gold medal in both De Marinis and Steen’s careers, with Steen winning in 2013 and 2016, and De Marinis winning in 2016 and 2017.