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Friday, May. 24, 2019
Surprising Soucy stars for Sudbury crew at OFSAA wrestling
by Randy Pascal

It was not the least bit shocking to see that a SDSSAA athlete had managed to crack the podium at the 2018 OFSAA Wrestling Championships earlier this month in Windsor.

Such is the state of the sport in Sudbury that virtually every single year, at least one local wrestler will return home with some hardware, typically with a handful of other top six finishes in the mix.

What is not at all common is the concept of the athlete in question having only taken up the sport some four months ago. Mind you, there is very little that is common in the way that 17 year old Marymount Academy senior Tyanna Soucy has approached her launch into this new athletic passion.

“I used to watch video of high school wrestling, and I have a friend that wrestles with Lasalle,” noted Soucy. “I've always really wanted to wrestle or try it.” But at Marymount, there wasn't even a starting point. To the best of her knowledge, no Regal has ever, in the storied history of the school, donned a wrestling singlet.

“But this year, I really pushed for it,” noted the grade 11 multi sport athlete, also a key cog with the powerhouse flag football team. “I told them we really need a wrestling team. We ended up starting one up and I was really excited.”

Her determination was rewarded in droves when Soucy took full advantage of a first round bye and proceeded to reel off four straight victories at the OFSAA meet, including a win in the final over Rosalee Graham (David & Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute in Toronto), claiming gold in the 83 kg division.

It's been quite an entry to the sport for the young woman who was fortunate enough to latch on to the coaching of former OFSAA gold medallist Celeste Rodrigue, along with Jessie Hotte and club coach Patrick Quenneville.

“To be honest, I've never really thought I was that good,” admitted Soucy. “I tried my best, that 's all I did, that's all I ever did. I trained so hard to get to where I am, working out six days a week, working out early in the morning and training hard at night. It's go, go, go because that's what I needed. I wanted to be where everyone else was at.”

Not to mention of wonderful byproduct, along the way. “I ended up losing 23 pounds,” she added. Despite her limited experience on the mat, Soucy is no stranger to a sporting environment, with the necessary intensity kicking in just when she needed it most.

“I don't know what happened to me when I went to OFSAA, but I totally changed my mindset,” she said. “I literally looked like a crazy person, talking to myself in the mirror. I told myself that I needed to get in my head, that this is what I had to do, that I could not let anyone intimidate me.”

“Even in the corral, warming up, it was about me getting ready, it wasn't about anyone else. I wasn't looking around, it wasn't about my opponent. I was a little scared, but every time I stepped out on the mat, I believed I could win.”

Soucy was one of only three SDSSAA athletes to work their way into the top six, with Jasmine Tessier of Lasalle Secondary finishing fourth in the same division as Soucy, while Marymount teammate Angelina Lam placed fourth in the 115 kg grouping.

Ironically, Tessier, a former silver medal winner back in grade nine when she attended Macdonald-Cartier, was toppled by Soucy in the semi-final round, bouncing back to knock off Alex Cooper of St Joseph's in St Thomas, before losing to third place finisher Elinor Brown of Bishop Ryan.

Lam, meanwhile, won her first three matches over Mackie Dummitt (Thomas A Stewart – Peterborough), Madison Caruso (Bishop Ryan – Hamilton) and Rebecca Boateng (Louise Arbour – Brampton), before tasting defeat and needing a second win over Caruso to secure an antique bronze medal (fourth place).

A trio of locals managed to walk away with a .500 record, registering two wins and an even number of losses. Jarell McLean of St Charles College (57.5 kg) knocked off Shayan Sivadas (Toronto) and Kenny Hole (Thunder Bay) before being ousted, with both remaining two win performances coming in the boys 67.5 kg weight class.

Maxim Boucher of Champlain got the better of both Dallas Steacy (LCVI – Kingston) and Sheldon Pooran (Heart Lake – Brampton), while Simon Marcotte of Notre-Dame did the same to both David Naula (Father Bressani – Woodbridge) and Joseph Bouchard (Sir Winston Churchill – Thunder Bay).

Getting into the win column, at least once in Windsor, were Ben Campbell of Lo-Ellen (89 kg), with a win over Nic Graham (Haliburton Highlands) and Chloe Barnsdale of Marymount (72 kg), getting the pin on Kesia Lozada (WL Mackenzie – North York).

Rounding out the SDSSAA contingent of athletes who qualified for OFSAA were Sheila Eshquib (Lasalle – 54 kg), Hayley Wilkins (Marymount – 61 kg), Zoe Chartrand (Horizon – 64 kg), Alexi Lamb (Marymount – 77 kg), Shawn Gauthier (Lasalle – 47.5 kg), Christian Yule (Lasalle – 64 kg), Noah Lalonde (Sby Secondary – 77 kg), Jacob Laquerre (Notre-Dame – 83 kg), Donald McKay (St Charles – 95 kg) and Xavier Bruneau (Notre-Dame – 130 kg).

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