29th annual Alberni Invitational wrestling tourney kicks off Feb. 2

Hundreds of athletes and coaches will take over the Alberni Valley Multiplex from Feb. 2–4 for the popular wrestling tourney.

Alberni wrestler Oliver Witham

Alberni wrestler Oliver Witham

The 29th Annual Alberni Invitational Wrestling Tournament is scheduled for the Alberni Valley Multiplex Feb. 2-4.  The Invitational attracts more than 600 competitors from all over B.C. to the Valley for three days of intense wrestling action in five different age groups, plus another 200 in categories such as the Open, Elementary and a new Grappling division.

The Alberni Invitational is widely considered the most prestigious high school wrestling tournament in B.C. and has received recognition across Canada.  The tournament begins on Thursday, February 2nd   with weigh-ins for boys and girls in the secondary aged divisions at 6:00 p.m. at Glenwood.

The Alberni Invitational tournament action will run all day on Friday, February 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.  This year the Friday will be divided into age group sessions. The Cadet (grade 9-10) and Juvenile (grade 11-12) will run Friday morning from 9 am to noon.. There will be a short lunch break before they run the Elementary (grades 3-5) and School Age (grades 6-8) divisions from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. The Cadet and Juvenile divisions run again from 3:30 – 5:30 pm before a short dinner break. School Age, Cadet and Juvenile start up again at 6 pm along with the Open division.

Friday night at 7:00 p.m. will feature the ever-popular semi-finals. Friday night will also feature the Open division where alumni and college wrestlers can test their skills. The conclusion of the rest of the preliminary matches in the age class divisions will begin Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.  Medal matches will start at about 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  The finals in the Schoolboy/girl division (grade 6-8) and Cadet (gr 9-10) will start at noon on Saturday. The Juvenile (grade 11-12) finals start at 2:30 pm on Saturday and wrap up by 3:30 p.m.  There is not cost for spectators for the preliminaries and the finals are by donation.

Returning to this year’s Invitational will be the Grappling division that will run on Saturday. Grappling is another variation of wrestling that is now sanctioned by the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association. It combines many of the techniques and actions of wrestling with various martial arts disciplines. Alberni Wrestling has partnered with Dragon Martial Arts once again offer this dimension to the Alberni Invitational this year..

Registrations for grappling are open to all interested participants of all ages. Registration and weigh-in for grappling will take place Thursday night at Glenwood or Friday night at the Multiplex at 7:30 pm with grappling action starting soon after 9 am Saturday morning. There will be a grappling official’s clinic Friday evening at 7:30 am and an athlete’s rules clinic at 8:30 am Saturday. Make sure you come out to watch this exciting new action.

Not only do local fans have an opportunity for some great competition at the Invitational, you also will once again see very competitive Alberni wrestlers.  The ADSS Boys team is currently ranked #6 in the province and will likely battle it out with over 60 other schools for the team title in the Juvenile and Cadet divisions. These teams include #1 ranked Burnaby Central and # 2 ranked Guildford Park of Surrey and other top teams such as Abby Traditional, John Oliver, Burnaby South and WJ Mouat Secondary of Abbotsford.

In the Juvenile Girls division ADSS is ranked # 2 or 3  in BC with Carson Graham of North Vancouver #1. Yale and Terry Fox round out the top 4 girl’s teams.   In the Schoolboy/girl division Alberni will have strong teams from Neill and Dunn Middle Schools and both schools should be in the top 10. Ucluelet Secondary will also have wrestlers in most age divisions.

— Alberni Wrestling

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