AMBER Philipchuk of the West Kildonan Wrestling Club won her third straight Manitoba Amateur Wrestling Association championship on Saturday at West Kildonan Collegiate, and in a new weight division.
Philipchuk, a Grade 11 student at West Kildonan Collegiate, won the championship title in the senior high girls' 56-kilogram weight class when she defeated Samara Funk of the T4 Wrestling Club.
In the past two years, Philipchuk had won the senior high girls' title in the 56-kg class in Grade 9 and the 60-kg weight class last season. It was the first time this season that Philipchuk had been able to beat Funk ,with Funk having come out on top in six previous meetings.
"I've been fighting her all year and couldn't beat her but I guess today was my day," Philipchuk said, noting all matches including Saturday's were won on points as neither has been able to pin the other.
"She got me first round but I was able to step up my game and won two rounds after that and took it."
Philipchuk said she thought dropping weight would put her in a different class than Funk but was surprised when she arrived at the competition.
"I was wrestling at 60 (kg) this whole year and then dropped to 54 for this competition," Philipchuk said.
"I trained really hard and dropped weight, I had lost about 10 pounds, and I heard she dropped weight with me," she said. "Yesterday at the weigh-ins, I found out she dropped weight and we had to fight again."
She said that winning the provincial title meant a lot to but getting the victory meant a lot, too.
"It was more the fact that I worked so hard to beat her and succeeded on it," she said. "The provincial title means more to me because I beat her."
In the senior high school boys' division, rising star Caleb Rutner continued his domination of wrestlers much older and more experienced.
Rutner, a 14-year-old Grade 8 student at River Heights, won both the junior high boys' and senior high boys' provincial titles in the 58-kg class.
In the senior high boys' final, Rutner beat his Grade 12 opponent Joshua Cervantes by pinning him.
"It was 2-0 and he got a hold of my leg so I did a chin pick and reversed it and pinned him," Rutner said. "I always want to be wrestling stronger guys so that I can get more experience. I'd like to go as far as I can in wrestling, maybe a world championship or the Olympics someday."
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