After the kind of start the South West judo team got off to on Thursday at the Saskatchewan Winter Games, it stood to reason they would be in for some impressive results.
As it turns out, that was exactly the case.
Competitors from Moose Jaw picked up four gold and seven medals at the multi-sport event in Regina, boosting South West’s gold total to seven heading into the final two days of competition.
The top showing for South West came in the U53 kg female division, as Kenzie Woods claimed the gold medal with a win over a very familiar face in South West teammate Nova-Lee Neuman.
Woods went 3-0 in her round robin before defeating Nicole Gartner from Rivers West in her semifinal. Lee-Neuman, meanwhile, was 2-1 in her round robin and downed Prairie Central’s Reilly Huisman to advance to the gold medal match.
Felix Leonard also found himself having to battle teammates on his way to U40 kg male gold. Leonard went 3-0 in his round robin, finishing a win ahead of fellow Moose Javian Noah Pulvermacher. That sent Leonard to the semifinal, where he’d defeat South West’s Blake Rempel to book his spot in the gold medal match. There, a win over Rivers West’s Bartek Losinski would give him the gold medal, with Rempel and Pulvermacher each picking up bronze.
Hawkins Jacobson -- fresh off his appearance in weightlifting in the first half of the Games -- also went undefeated on his way to U60 kg male gold. He won both round-robin matches before defeating Rivers West’s Corsin Raess in the semifinal and Regina’s Braxton Goebel for gold.
Emmett Lee-Neuman rounded out the judo gold medal haul with a win in the U45 kg male class. He took back-to-back victories over Regina’s Logan Dahl in the best-of-three battle.
A trio of Moose Jaw competitors saw action in the 53 kg-plus division, with Josie Mawson finishing fifth, Cali Markel sixth and Olesia Dunn seventh. Former Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club black belt instructor Josh Wiens -- now a resident of Flin Flon -- coached Team North and saw daughter Josie Wiens post a seventh-place finish.
Rowan Gray added to South West’s gold medal haul on Thursday, taking top spot in Pre-Novice Male figure skating with a score of 33.77 points.
Mitke Cridland came within a couple of points of winning a bronze medal, but ended up settling for fourth in the Pre-Novice female division after a 44.59-point skate. Brecon Swalm -- who competed in biathlon in the first half -- was 15th at 29.67 points, while Rachel Ward finished 17th with 26.14 points.
Team South West put up another lopsided win in male futsal, blowing out Rivers West 9-2 in their second-round robin game.
Moose Jaw players once again figured heavily into the offence, with Cohen McDonald leading the way with a pair of goals, while Patrick Pryadko and Samuel Mendes had single markers each.
South West next faces fellow unbeatens Saskatoon in their first playoff match-up on Friday night, with the winner there advancing to the gold medal game Saturday morning.
The South West wrestling team posted a 1-2 record in their round robin and would go on to finish in fifth place in the team dual competition.
With a spot in the medal round on the line, South West dropped a 42-23 decision to Regina in their final round-robin match Thursday. Evelyn Eros (75kg female), Teagan Kivol (43 kg male), Kruz Babich (48 kg male) and Brady Ross (80 kg male) all picked up wins.
That sent South West into the consolation semifinal, where they’d have a much better result in a 48-10 win over Rivers West. Eisa Tondevold (51 kg female), Arianna Skeoch (56 kg female), Aurelia Eros (61 kg female) and Kingston Usher joined Evelyn Eros, Kivol, Babich and Ross in winning their matches.
From there, the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club crew moved into the fifth-sixth place match, and they’d take another commanding win, this time 48-14 over South East. Skeoch, Eros, Eros, Kivol, Babich, Ross and Usher were the winning South West wrestlers from Moose Jaw.
The action now switches over the individual competition, running throughout the day Saturday.
Visit www.saskgames.ca/winter for up-to-date results.