Lasalle wins overall title at annual wrestling tournament
Sara Lachance and Brandon Jalbert may clean up well — they were recently crowned as prom queen and king — but the Lasalle Secondary students prefer the more rough and tousled look that comes after two minutes of intense grappling on a sweat-soaked wrestling mat.
On Dec. 13, the pair helped the New Sudbury school's wrestling team earn bragging rights, winning the overall aggregate title at the annual The Boot Wrestling Tournament.
Lachance took the top spot in the girls' 47.5-kg category while Jalbert finished second in the boys' 61-kg division. The Lasalle girls' squad finished in third place, behind the Timmins team and College Notre-Dame, while the male Lancers took first place.
Roughly 60 to 70 wrestlers from a dozen schools from Sudbury and Timmins took part in the competition, which was held at Lasalle Secondary School Dec. 13.
For Lachance, things have started to click on the wrestling mat this year. In fact, it's been a complete turn-around from her rookie year.
"All last year, I lost every single match," she said. "But it's one of those things that when you do win, it's such a great feeling that you want to do it over and over again."
Lachance, who graduated last year but has returned for additional courses for university, said her confidence level has increased significantly when it comes to wrestling.
"Last year, I was being really weak about it and I was scared and nervous all the time, whereas this year, I think that I can win, so I do."
Her passion for the sport has her set on wrestling at the post-secondary level.
"I think I could be really good," the prom queen said. "I think I have the drive to do it and I have a lot of passion with it now."
As for Jalbert, he couldn't wait to start wrestling.
"I just love the sport so much, I always wanted to wrestle," the Grade 12 student said. "As soon as our school got a team, I jumped to it. It keeps me active, I love the competitiveness of it."
Currently in his third year with the team, Jalbert said he is pushing to compete at the national level this year.
"This year, I've been placing top in my category in Sudbury," he said. "Last year, I made it through to NOSSA, and finished third, so I couldn't make it to OFSSA. That's one of my goals for this year as well."
With provincial and national goals in the back of his mind, Jalbert's focus was solely on the task at hand Thursday morning.
"I want to win the boot for our team," he said. "We lost it last year to Lockerby and we want to get it back."
And he had every confidence in his team accomplishing just that.
"We work hard, we train hard, we go out there to win," he said. "We leave it all on the mat."
Well, everything but the bragging rights until next year's tournament.