Juliana Ruiu Carries on Proud Wrestling

Juliana Ruiu Carries on Proud Wrestling Tradition at BR
Posted on 02/26/2024

By Larry Moko

Another generation of wrestling Ruius has arrived at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School.
Juliana Ruiu is a Grade 9 student who recently began competing for the Celtics in high school wrestling. And she’s following in the footsteps of her father, Roger, who previously starred on the mats for BR.

Roger won OFSAA gold medals in 1994 and ’95 -- in the 54 and 57.5-kilogram weight classes, respectively. He then went on to McMaster University and Lakehead University where he captured Canadian university gold and Wrestler of the Year honours.

Roger also represented Canada at the world freestyle wrestling championships in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

“My daughter joined an excellent program,” said Roger, a veteran wrestling coach at Cathedral.
“I’m happy she is involved at Bishop Ryan considering I was a part of it many years ago. I think she’s doing very well as a rookie.”

Roger made the comments Thursday while watching a 16-team regional meet hosted by Bishop Ryan.

Juliana finished second in the girls’ 57.5 kg. division at the annual Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships to earn qualification for next month’s OFSAA tournament in Hamilton.
“There’s a lot of pressure, but my dad is always there to support me,” Juliana said. “I like having him around.”

Juliana’s older sister, Alessia, is a track runner for Bishop Ryan.

“I started wrestling when I was little,” Juliana said. “I was probably 8. Then I stopped because of soccer. I just started back up in Grade 9.

“I want to work hard and do my best.”

The Bishop Ryan team swept the boys’ girls and overall GHAC points championships.
Two Gaels won their weight classes at GHAC – defending OFSAA silver medallist Baylee Bettencourt (girls’ 61 kg.) and Moatasem Al Mesaar (boys’ 61 kg.)

“Moatasem is a Grade 11 rookie,” Roger said. “He came from Syria a few years ago. I feel he’s adjusted very well to life in Canada and he’s doing well academically at Cathedral. He has picked up the sport with no experience whatsoever.

“I think he’s a great story. We’re all rooting for him.”

St. Thomas More Knights placed second in the boys’ team and overall standings. More also came third in girls’ team points.

Other individual gold-medal winners in the girls’ division from H-W Catholic schools included Olivia DeGiorgi, Brébeuf (44 kg), Shaira Aligan, St. Mary, (51 kg), Sylvia Rosenberger, More, (57.5 kg), Ella De Almeida, BR, (64 kg), Taylor Engelen, BR, (64 kg), Jaslene Niculita, BR, (72  kg), Jennifer De Mederios, More, (95 kg), Deanna Rawn, BR, (115 kg).

In boys, other first-place finishes went to Christian Coccia, BR, (44 kg), Omar Albarmawi, Brébeuf, (64 kg), Osamah Alhariri, Brébeuf (67.5 kg), Yusuf Al-Udayli, More, (72 kg), Joshua Ramon, BR, (77 kg), Jack Cino, Brébeuf (95 kg), Aiden Nedelko-Payne, BR, (130 kg), Daniel Norris, St. Mary, (130+).
The remaining qualifiers for OFSAA from Hamilton were: Marquis Jones, More; Mohammad Alshhadat, More; Anthony Canuto, Brébeuf; Sebastian Lucia, BR; Gabriel Giannini, BR, Brady Mines, BR; Caleb Harper, St. John Henry Newman; Daniel Benvenga, BR; Jacob Grajales, BR; Isabella Rendina, BR; Shelby Vanderlip, BR; Allegresse Matukala-Nkosi, More; Havilah Nwachuku, St. Mary, Krista Coleman, More.

Photos by Bob Butrym, RFB Sport Photography

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