Despite the conclusion of the high school wrestling season, wrestlers from Port Alberni continue to be busy and successful.
Local wrestling alumnus Nolan Badovinac took second place last week at the Canadian Junior National Championships in St. Catharines Ontario, while four current Alberni wrestlers competed in Washington State at the prestigious US North West Regionals. Alberni’s Ravi Manhas took a bronze at that event. On April 5, 10 local wrestlers leave for Windsor Ontario and the Canadian Cadet/Juvenile National Wrestling Championships.
Nolan Badovinac is in his second year at Simon Fraser University on a wrestling scholarship. His second place finish at the Junior Nationals for 20-and-under athletes qualifies him as an alternate on the National Junior Team for the World Junior Championships in Finland. Badovinac’s only loss came to champion Alex Moore while he dominated his other matches. He actually finished third in the tournament but a recent rule change allows third place to challenge second if they haven’t wrestled. In that challenge match Badovinac soundly defeated last year’s champion 13-3.
In Centralia Washington, Manhas was the top local finisher with his third place at 45 kg.
“Ravi wrestled well despite giving up some weight to heavier guys,” said ADSS head coach John McDonald. “ We have some decisions to make looking ahead to next week’s nationals as Ravi could go either 42 kg or 46 kg. “ Also getting valuable matches but not placing in Washington were Aaron Badovinac, Isaac McDonald and Seth Price. McDonald stressed, “this is a very tough event that we use as a training event prior to our Nationals and trials for the Canada Games team. We are happy with our crew’s preparation.”
A large contingent of ten Alberni wrestlers leave on Wednesday to fly to Windsor. Some will compete in the Cadet age for 15-16 year olds and others in the Juvenile category for 17-18 year olds. Travelling to Ontario are Manhas, McDonald, Aaron Badovinac, Trenton Vanderkooi, Morgan Dagenais, Mackenzie Boudreau, Jayce Clayton, Lane Harris, Owen Spencer and Daniel Spencer. The tournament takes place on April 7-9 at the University of Windsor and comprises competition in both Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling as well.
After the Nationals several local wrestlers will be working to make Team BC to represent our province at the Canada Games in Winnipeg in August. Another group of Alberni wrestlers will be vying to make Team BC for the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto in July. Most wrestlers will be off the mats for a few months before training at the local Alberni Summer Camp July 13-16 at ADSS. Fundraising is ongoing for Alberni Wrestling to help make all these opportunities possible. One fundraiser coming up is firewood cutting. If anyone is interested in placing an order contact Tom McEvay at 250-724-0577 and he will put you in touch with the organizers.