Alberni novices show mat prowess in Victoria

Teams from ADSS, EJ Dunn and AW Neill opened their wrestling seasons by competing in Victoria’s Island Novice Wrestling Championships.

Alberni Valley wrestler Lauren Barker attempts to take down an opponent during a wrestling match in Victoria last weekend.

Wrestling teams from ADSS, EJ Dunn and AW Neill Middle Schools kicked off the wrestling season by competing in Victoria’s Island Novice Wrestling Championships last weekend.

The tournament is for athletes who are new to the sport and as a result a number of the Alberni wrestlers did not travel to Victoria. Despite low numbers the local teams did well.

EJ Dunn finished third in the Junior Boys Division.  The Dunn boys were led by the gold medal performances of Anthony Ashby (41 kilogram), Aaron Badovinac (45 kg), and Tyler Drew-Adams (light heavyweight).

“I was really impressed with all our wrestlers,” said Dunn coach Russ Bodnar.  “These three wrestlers did amazingly well.”

Ashby and Badovinac are new to wrestling.  Their natural talent and determination allowed them to have success at their first tournament.

Alberni wrestling alumni Andrew Edgell and Maureen Messenger are helping coach the team.

Dunn had six additional wrestlers place in the Junior Division to help them to their third place finish.  Trevor Barker (third at 35 kg), Quentin Young (fourth at 78 kg), Austin Patten (fifth at 60 kg), Jaylyn Keitlah (sixth at 45 kg), Kerrick Frey (sixth at 35 kg) and Brody Daoust (sixth at 57 kg) all contributed valuable team points to help their team finish third.

AW Neill and ADSS also had wrestlers competing in the Junior Boys Division.

Though small in numbers a handful of Grade 9 boys helped ADSS finish eighth in the junior division.  ADSS boys were led by the silver medal performance of Logan Henson.  ADSS wrestler Jared Beckett placed fifth in the 51 kg division.

The Neill boys wrestling team was led by the fourth place finish of Aaron Prest (fourth at light heavyweight).

ADSS has had a small number of boys compete and place seventh overall in the Senior Boys Division.

Tristan Schulz had an outstanding tournament to claim the gold medal at 85 kg.  Cody Stewart finished third at 80 kg and Johannes Kulich placed fourth at 66 kg.

On the girls side, tournament officials elected to combine the Junior and Senior division to give more opportunity for competitive matches.

Despite competing against high schools Dunn was once again the top Alberni school finishing fifth overall with 19 team points followed closely behind by ADSS with 18 team points.  AW Neill also had a small number of athletes compete but finished just out of the top placers.

Breylyn Hutchings (43 kg) from Dunn and Lauren Barker (54 kg) from ADSS both claimed a gold medal in their respective divisions.  Silver medalists from Alberni included Jessica Finlayson (43 kg) from Neill, Corrine Gough (46 kg) from Neill and Courtney Lescorbeau (57 kg) from EJ Dunn.  Isabella Larsen from ADSS (third 51 kg), Isabella Jones (fourth at 46 kg), Lily Finalyson (fourth at 43 kg), Morgan Dagenais (fifth at 51kg) and Kennady Clarke (sixth at 47 kg) wrestled hard in order to have their names noted in the results package.

“All our wrestlers should be proud of how they wrestled.  Many wrestled their first match ever,” said Neill Middle School coach Erin Anker.  All of our wrestlers, including those that didn’t place, showed courage to come to this tournament and wrestle.”

Wrestlers from all three teams will be right back on the mats training this week in preparation for upcoming tournaments.

On Saturday a select group of elite wrestlers will be travelling to SFU to compete in the Roberts Rumble.  At the same time wrestlers from all levels will be travelling to Chemanius for the Cougar Invitational.

Parents, wrestlers and program supporters interested in finding out more about upcoming wrestling events are encouraged to visit the club’s website www.alberniwrestling.ca <http://www.alberniwrestling.ca> .

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