Alberni Invitational looms

The 28th Annual Alberni Invitational Wrestling Tournament is scheduled for the Alberni Valley Multiplex Feb. 3-5, 2011.

AW Neill wrestler Corrine Gough (top) throws EJ Dunn Wrestler Laurren Barker during a dual meet on Jan. 19.

AW Neill wrestler Corrine Gough (top) throws EJ Dunn Wrestler Laurren Barker during a dual meet on Jan. 19.

The 28th Annual Alberni Invitational Wrestling Tournament is scheduled for the Alberni Valley Multiplex Feb. 3-5, 2011.

The invitational will bring more than 600 competitors from all over B.C. to the Valley for three days of intense wrestling action.

The matches will take place in five different age groups plus another 200 in categories such as the open, elementary and a new grappling division.

The tournament is widely considered the most prestigious high school wrestling tournament in B.C., and has received recognition across Canada.

The event begins on Thursday, Feb. 3, with weigh-ins for boys and girls in the three middle and secondary aged divisions at 7 p.m. at Glenwood Centre.

Tournament action will run all day on Friday, Feb. 4, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

There are age groups for School Age (Grade 6-8), Cadet (Grade 9-10) and Juvenile (Grade 11-12). There will be lunch (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) and dinner (4:30-5:30 p.m.).

An Elementary Division returns this year with over 100 local youngsters expected to participate. The Elementary division runs from 12-3 p.m. Friday.

The tournament’s semi-finals will go on Friday at 7 p.m.

Friday night will also feature the Open Division where alumni and college wrestlers can test their skills. The North Island College team will have wrestlers entered.

The conclusion of the rest of the preliminary matches in the age class divisions will begin Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Medal matches will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The finals in the schoolboy/girl division and cadet will start at noon on Saturday.

The juvenile finals start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and wrap up by 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for spectators for the preliminary matches, but entrance to the finals are by donation.

A new addition to this year’s invitational is the new 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 to add this new dimension.

Registrations for grappling are open to all participants of all ages.

Registration and weigh-in for grappling will take place Saturday morning at the Multiplex at 7:30 a.m. with grappling action starting soon after 9 a.m. There will be a grappling official’s clinic Friday evening at 7 p.m. and an athlete’s rules clinic at 8 a.m. Saturday after registration.

The ADSS Boys team is currently ranked No. 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 No. 1 ranked Guildford Park of Surrey and other top teams such as Abby Traditional, Burnaby Central and WJ Mouat Secondary both of Abbotsford.

In the Juvenile Girls division ADSS is ranked No. 4 in BC with Carson Graham of North Vancouver No. 1. Yale and Terry Fox round out the top four girls teams.

Ucluelet Secondary will also compete.