Local armwrestlers place high at Northwestern competition

The Fort Frances Armwrestling Club went over the top here Saturday, winning several trophies at the Northwestern Ontario showdown at Memorial Arena in conjunction with the Little Amik Winter Carnival.
About 50 armwrestlers took part in the tournament, which attracted several of the top competitors from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Northwestern Ontario.
Local club president Bill Morrison said he was impressed with the level of competition, comparing it to that of a national tournament.
In fact, several former Canadian champions were on hand, including Miles Wolko of Prince Albert, Sask., who won both the men’s left arm division (151-175 pounds) and the men’s right arm one (151-165 pounds).
He also placed third in the men’s right arm division for the 181-200 weight class.
The 158-pound Wolko, who once finished second at the world championships in Greece, stole the show as he continually defeated several top (and heavier) competitors.
On the local front, Allan Hartnell of Rainy River led the way by placing first in the men’s right arm division (241 pounds and over), beating out Ryan Espey (Portage La Prairie) and Ray Bourgoin (Winnipeg).
Morrison said the 19-year-old, in just his first year with the local club, continues to improve as he gains more experience.
Meanwhile, Morrison said the surprise of the tournament was Rudy Sinninghe, also from Rainy River, who finished second in the men’s right arm division (201-240 pounds) just ahead of Ken Faragher of Fort Frances.
Morrison said Sinninghe had been out of competition for several years before Saturday’s tournament.
Faragher, a Canadian champ back in 1996, also had a good day, placing second in the men’s left arm division (201 pounds and over), one spot ahead of Bill Morrison, also from here.
Other top local finishers included:
oFred Roisin (Fort Frances)–second in the men’s right arm division (136-150 pounds);
oConnor Johnson (Sleeman)–third in the men’s right arm division (136-150 pounds);
oBrad George (Fort Frances)–third in the men’s right arm division (166-180 pounds); and
oDan Faragher (Fort Frances)–third in the men’s left arm division (under 150 pounds).
Donna Heyens was the top local women’s competitor, finishing second in the right arm division (141 pounds and over) and third in the left arm (open) division.
All the competitors automatically qualified for the provincial tournament in Kirkland Lake (July), the Canadian showdown (September), and world championships (November).