Alberni Wrestling alumni Ravi Manhas will compete with the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades starting in the fall of 2018.
Manhas, who graduates at the end of June from ADSS in Port Alberni, is one of several new recruits the Cascades announced this week.
Cascades head coach Raj Virdi has signed 10 athletes – eight male, two female – to bolster a program which claimed four individual medals at the U SPORTS national championships and collected a number of major awards at the Canada West conference and U SPORTS levels in 2017-18.
Another Vancouver Island wrestler, Hannah Tuplin of Crofton, also signed with UFV in the women’s wrestling program. Tuplin wrestled for Chemainus Secondary in the 55 kg women’s division last year.
Manhas climbed the podium each of the past four years at the B.C. high school provincials, winning silver in 2017 and 2018, and bronze in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, his Alberni District Secondary squad won the boys and overall team titles at provincials this year. Manhas was a silver medalist at the Canada Summer Games in 2017, and won silver (2017) and bronze (2018) at the juvenile national championships. He also had strong showings at USA Wrestling’s Northwest Regionals, winning gold in 2018 and bronze in 2017.
“He kind of reminds me of myself when I was that age – he’s really small, so he’ll spend most of next year bulking up to 54 kg,” Virdi said. “But he’s one of those kids who really wants to get better and is really determined. He’s a tough kid, and he’s going to be in the sport a long time.”
“UFV has good academic programs for what I want to do, and the wrestling is at a level where I can keep pushing my love for the sport,” said Manhas, who will pursue a degree in computer science at UFV.
MAT TALK…Wrestlers coming to the 2018 Alberni Summer Camp July 12–15 at ADSS can expect to see Alberni Wrestling alumni as well as a former Olympian and AW coach, Ivan Diaconu. Diaconu, who is now living in Montreal, was instrumental in helping AW coach Travis Cross make it to the 2008 Olympics. He was also sixth in the 2000 Olympics for the Republic of Maldova.