December 10, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
WINNIPEG Wesmen wrestler Jake Miller set a goal and pinned it to the mat.
Miller, 19, was named the Canada West men's wrestling rookie of the year at the conference championships over the weekend at Edmonton.
It was a difficult goal to achieve considering Miller, who won gold in the 76-kilogram division, had to shine brighter than any other rookie in the men's 10 weight classes in the conference.
"It's a big honour to win it and I was just blown away by it. It's a pretty prestigious award because it's all of Canada West," said the 6-foot-3 Miller, a native of Barrie, Ont.
"It was one of my main goals, to win that award. I knew everything I did all year so far kind of worked up to that so I'm pretty happy."
Along with Wesmen coach Adrian Bruce, Miller will now head to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship on March 1 and 2 at London's Western University.
"Winning Canada West puts me in a really good spot for the rankings going into nationals," Miller said. "The guy I had in my finals match (Alberta's Coleman Brinker), he came third at CIS last year. That builds my confidence a lot knowing that I beat an opponent who was top three in the country last year. I've seen other results from the other conferences so I'm pretty excited about nationals now."
Joining Miller will be four other Wesmen including Briston Brenton and Kyle Nguyen on the men's side along with Jessica Brenton and Emily Kessler on the women's side.
At the Canada West championships, Briston Brenton won gold in the men's 82 kg division while Nguyen took bronze in the men's 130 kg class. Jessica Brenton, Briston's sister, earned silver in the women's 63 kg weight class and will be making her second consecutive appearance at the CIS Nationals as she was the lone Wesmen representative last year. Kessler won bronze in the women's 55 kg class.
"I'm really proud of our whole team," Miller said. "Our team only brought one to CIS last year and this year, we're bringing five. That's a huge step for us."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 19, 2013 C5