Skip to content

Bellerose Bulldog wins provincial wrestling championship

St. Albert's Jamie Clark takes gold two years in row
GOOD FIGHT — Bellerose Composite student Jamie Clark, right, shakes the hand of Ali Karout of Calgary’s Lester B. Pearson High shortly after defeating him in the gold medal match of the 2024 ASAA Wrestling Provincial Championships held in Edmonton on March 9 and 10 at McNally High School. It was the second year in a row that Clark had claimed the provinical championship in his weight class. ALBERTA SCHOOLS' ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION/Photo

A Bellerose Bulldog is headed to Ottawa this weekend to try out for Team Canada after going undefeated at the provincial wrestling championships.

Bellerose Composite Grade 12 student Jamie Clark won gold in the 76 kg division after going undefeated at the 2024 ASAA Wrestling Provincial Championships held last March 9-10 at Edmonton’s McNally High School. It’s the second year in a row that he has won the provincial championship.

Clark said he was pretty happy with this result, as it showed that his win last year was not a fluke.

“I proved to myself and those around me that I do deserve to be here.”

Rising star

Clark started wrestling with the Edmonton Wrestling Club three years ago but didn’t get serious about it until he was in Grade 11, said Michael Asselstine, a coach with the Edmonton Wrestling Club and the University of Alberta’s Golden Bears wrestling team. (The Edmonton club is run out of the U of A, and its members sometime train with the Bears.)

Asselstine said Clark had an athletic ability and body awareness you don’t often see in youths his age, and was able to grapple with club veterans as soon as he started.

“He has some of that drive you can’t necessarily teach kids. He wants to be here, he wants to get better, and is always striving for that next level.”

Clark said he got into wrestling through his father and grandfather, both of whom were notable wrestlers. (Don Clark, the grandfather, was the Canadian wrestling team leader at the 1996 Olympics, amongst other achievements.) Unlike last year, which was all about rushing through as many events as possible to catch up with his peers, Clark said his focus this year has been on honing his skill to a higher level.

Clark said he trains six days a week with the Golden Bears during wrestling season, with three days of wrestling and three days lifting weights. His specialty as of late has been the head-and-arm throw, where you grab your opponent’s head and arm, flip their back to the mat, and land on top of them.

Clark said a lot of his preparation for provincials was going through his in-ring tactics in his head.

“I would get up and move throughout the space and envision my opponent in front of me,” he said, and think through how he would react under different circumstances.

Clark said his gold medal match last weekend saw him square off against Ali Karout of Calgary’s Lester B. Pearson High — appropriate, as Karout had won this year’s Calgary city championship and Clark had won Edmonton’s. Knowing that Karout specialized in leg takedowns, Clark said he kept his stance low to defend and waited for his opening.

“Eventually, I got him to stand up a little bit and I ended up throwing him,” Clark said.

Clark said he got a gold medal and a T-shirt for his win. He was now getting ready for the Team Canada tryouts in Ottawa this weekend and the U19 national championships on April 7.

“Once I become national champion, I’ll try to become an Olympic champion,” he said.

Clark said wrestling has made everything else in his life easier, as nothing else that he’s done in sports or school has challenged him in the way wrestling has.

“I really think that has not only made me a better athlete, but a better person.”

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks