The Alberni Armada Boys Wrestling Team won the Vancouver Island Secondary School Wrestling Championships for the 18th consecutive year last week. It is the 30th time in the last 35 years the Armada Boys won the title of Island Champions.
The ADSS boys finished with 86 points, more than double the 28 points accumulated by second place Dover Bay. Queen of Angels from Cowichan was third with 26 points.
The Armada girls finished second behind Cowichan Secondary School. Carihi from Campbell River finished third.
Individually, 24 wrestlers qualified to represent Alberni District Secondary School at the BC High School Championships March 2–4 in Salmon Arm.
Twelve Alberni wrestlers claimed the gold medals in their respective weight classes. Ravi Manhas (45kg), Seth Price (51kg), Trevor Barker (54kg), Owen Spencer (57kg), Isaac McDonald (60kg), Jayden Iversen (66kg), Aaron Badovinac (74kg), Daniel Spencer (78kg), Jayce Clayton (84kg), Trenton Vanderkooi (110kg), Morgan Dagenais (60kg) and Kyla McAuley (110kg) all went undefeated to win gold in their weight classes.
Bobby McKenzie (38kg), Duncan McLeod (41kg), Scott Coulthart (84kg), William Merry (130kg), and Paige Maher all finished with silver medals.
Anna Frost (third at 51kg), Miranda Barker (third at 75kg), Darien Van Ingen (fourth at 54kg), Prateesh Giri (fourth at 57kg), Mackenzie Boudreau (fourth at 57kg), and Landyn Clayton (fifth at 70kg) rounded out the placings for the strong Alberni team.
Grade 12 Lane Harris, who is still recovering from injury, was petitioned into the BC High School Championships at 84kg based on his past results from the season. Doctors have cleared him to compete in two weeks’ time.
Grade 11 wrestler Isaac McDonald was selected as the Most Outstanding Male Wrestler of the tournament based on his dominating performance at 60 kilograms.
“Isaac had a great tournament and is looking very strong,” noted coach Russ Bodnar. “He won all three of his matches by first-round pins. There were a number of ADSS wrestlers who had dominating performances and I am sure the voting for the award was close. A few of our boys didn’t get scored on. Seth Price, who has been battling some injuries, looked tough beating a provincially ranked kid by technical superiority for the gold medal.
“Over the next two weeks we have to work hard and stay healthy so that we are ready,” Bodnar added. “The wins are not going to come quite as easy at the BC Championships.”
Head Coach John McDonald assessment was more brief. “Today I want every one of our kids to be proud of how they did. They can take Sunday off but next week we will be back working hard making sure we are focused, sharp, and healthy for BCs.”