Full slate of recruits bolster SFU's mat hopes

Simon Fraser University’s wrestling team will have 19 new faces for the 2019-20 season.

After a season in which SFU had nine All-Americans at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) championships and an NCAA Div. 2 men’s national All-American, both teams have been restocked with grapplers eager to take the next step.

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“This group of recruits will be the future of the SFU wrestling program,” said head coach Justin Abdou. “This is a group of exceptional young men and women, and we are very excited to watch them mature and grow while here with us.”

Headlining the women’s recruits are Burnaby grapplers Amanda Silveri and Gabriella Bellini, both products of St. Thomas More and Pacific Rim Wrestling club. Silveri is a three-time provincial champion, capturing the 110-kilogram title this past winter. Bellini, meanwhile, placed third in the 64kg category.

Also among the recruits are Victoria Seal, the reigning Outstanding Wrestler from the Cana-dian jr. national championships, 64kg’s first- and second-place finishers Jade Trolland and Stephanie Mould, as well as Vancouver’s Jocelyn Bhatha and Victoria’s Khaya MacKillop.

Two Americans are set to join the fold, with California state champion Anatli Smalley and North Carolina standout Megan Zelasky rounding out the nine-person class.

The women’s team has only one departing athlete, with three-time WCWA champion Dominique Parrish having completed her senior season this past spring.

“It is very difficult to replace someone like Dom Parrish, but we have secured depth in all weight classes as we look to the future,” said Abdou. “We also have a handful of recruits who may be able to step in right away and make an impact.”

On the men’s side, it’s a pair of Spokane, Wash., products who should have the biggest impact on the Burnaby campus. Chase Tebbets is a three-time State champion from Mead High, while Mason Miethe, a multi-sport All-league athlete from Mt. Spokane High, went 30-2 in his senior wrestling season.

The 2019 men’s class also includes Tebbets’ high school teammate Cameron Crawford, a state silver medalist; Brent Hodgson, a district champion from Deer Park, Wash.; Josh Meyers, the team captain of California’s Menlo-Atherton High School; Levi Oostra, a two-time Washington State High championships qualifier; and Zach Stratton, a state bronze medalist from Spokane Valley.

The team added three Canadian recruits in Calgary’s Sam Patton, a provincial gold medalist, Burnaby’s Dylan Duggan, a provincial silver medalist, and Port Moody’s Devin McCrae, a provincial gold medalist.

McCrae is following in the footsteps of sister Ciara, a current All-American at SFU, and father Billy, a former SFU wrestler, by joining the Simon Fraser program.

The sibling connections continue to pay dividends. Seal also has a familial connection as her sister Alexia is a current All-American wrestler at SFU, while Trolland is the sister of former standout SFU wrestler Ashley Topnik.

The SFU women’s team came in second place at the 2019 WCWA Championships, while the men finished ninth at the 2019 NCAA Super Regional IV competition.

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