Women's Athletics


2001 Wrestling Team

The 2001 wrestling team.

In 1994, a group of first year students approached the captain of the men’s wrestling team, Michael Smith, to start a women’s team. The following year Anne Guzman began training with the men’s team. With support from coach Ray Takahashi, more women became involved and Western hosted the first unofficial Ontario women’s wrestling championship in 1997, in conjunction with the men’s championship. The Western women placed fourth as a team.

The following year, the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) officially included both men’s and women’s divisions and Western placed third.

In 1999 when the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) officially recognized the sport for women, Western placed seventh nationally and coach Ray Takahashi was named Coach of the Year.

Despite the fact that there were women wrestlers at Western since the mid-1990s, it wasn’t until the 2000-01 season that Western officially recognized women’s wrestling as an official varsity team and collegiate sport. Many women grapplers under Takahashi succeeded at the provincial and international level, including Terri McNutt, four-time OUA champion and the bronze winner at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships, and Belinda Chou who, in 2001, became Western's first CIS Women’s champion. Chou was selected as Western’s Outstanding Female Athlete during 2000-01. In 2007, the women’s team won its first OUA.

Other champion Mustang women wrestlers include Rachel Dean, a two-time team MVP and Purple Blanket award winner.

Watch our video interview with current coach Ray Takahashi as he speaks about the history of women's wrestling at Western.