Silver and gold all round for Team Yukon's wrestlers at Arctic Winter Games

Every member of the Yukon wrestling team won a medal in their various weight classes Thursday. Liam Gishler, Kaleb Parry, Gabriel Racine, and Jaymi and Leah Hinchey all won gold ulus, while Leah McLean and Harlan Keefer won silver.

Seven ulus for seven wrestlers in Thursday's matches

A portrait of a girl in a Team Yukon shirt with a triumphant smile on her face.
Jaymi Hinchey, a member of Team Yukon's wrestling team and the Yukon flagbearer for the Arctic Winter Games, won a gold ulu in her weight class Thursday. (George Maratos/CBC)

Fresh from taking silver in Tuesday's team wrestling event, Team Yukon's wrestlers took it up a notch and made a clean sweep of silver and gold on Thursday.

Liam Gishler, Kaleb Parry, Gabriel Racine, and Jaymi and Leah Hinchey all won gold ulus in their respective weight classes at the Arctic Winter Games on Thursday. Leah McLean and Harlan Keefer won silver.

"It was really nice, especially being able to win some matches against Alberta," McLean said Friday morning, referencing the team that beat them to the gold ulu in team wrestling earlier this week.

A group of smiling people in Team Yukon shirts surround a flag with the Yukon coat of arms on it.
Members of Team Yukon, with the wrestling team in the back. From back left, Gabriel Racine, Leah McLean, Kaleb Parry, Jaymi Hinchey, Lia Hinchey, Harlan Keefer and Liam Gishler. Wrestling is both an individual and a team sport, said Jaymie Hinchey. (Team Yukon)

McLean, 15, has been wrestling for a few years. She competed in the individual female up to 65 kilogram weight class.

She said she likes being able to fight people, and said one of her matches against Alberta stood out as a particularly good one.

"It was a tough match, but we had almost no score in the first round so we kept going. We went to a second round, which doesn't usually happen, but it was really nice to be able to last that long and be able to get to the second round before a win," she said.

Thursday's wins helped keep the Yukon in the top spot as the team with the overall most ulus. According to medal standings Friday, the Yukon led the pack with 92 ulus: 36 gold, 30 silver and 26 bronze.

Jaymi Hinchey, who was also the flagbearer for Team Yukon, took gold Thursday in the individual female up to 55 kilogram weight class.

She said she likes the thrill of the match, and the excitement of winning. Though wrestling isn't generally a team sport, they still had a team competition, an aspect of the sport she enjoys.

"Some losses are kind of tough, too, but it's all part of it," she said. "And the people here are so great. I've made so many friends."

Unlike some teams that had tryouts and selections, the Yukon wrestling team was just formed by the seven players, McLean said.

"For us, it was ... just the seven of us working together for the last couple months. And we showed up, and we were able to get some golds."

She's also getting ready to head to the Canada Winter Games in P.E.I. later this month to compete in judo.

Written by April Hudson with files from George Maratos and Elyn Jones