Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
December 16, 2003
U of G student captures silver at Olympic trials
Gryphon wrestler Tara Hedican, a two-time winner of U of Gís Female Athlete of the Year award, won a silver medal at the Canadian Olympic Team Trials. She will be an alternate for 2004 women's Olympic team.
Hedican placed second in the 63 kg weight class, losing to Viola Yanik of Saskatoon, who came in third at this yearís World Championships. The trials were held in Alberta Dec. 12-14.
Hedican won a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Championships and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. She also received a 2002 Tom Longboat Award, a national honour recognizing aboriginal excellence in sport. The fourth-year student is also a two-time Canadian junior national champion, a three-time Canadian senior national silver medallist, and has won gold medals at both the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships.
At the Olympic team trials, only the winner of the 66 kilogram men's and 63 kilogram women's events automatically qualified for the Olympics based upon a top ten performance at the 2003 World Championships. All the other weight categories must attempt to qualify at two additional international events in the spring. This includes former Gryphon, Zoltan Hunyady, who placed first at the trials in a best-of-three final in the 74kg freestyle event.
Ohenewa Akuffo, assistant coach of U of Gís womenís varsity team, came in second in the 72kg class, losing to the six-time world champion. Former Gryphon Teresa Piotrowski placed 3rd in the 55kg class, and Victor Sprenger, a past U of G Presidentís Trophy winner, placed second in the 84kg, Greco-Roman category.