Wrestlers from Port Alberni had a strong showing at the Cougar Invitational tournament in Duncan.
Athletes from Alberni District Secondary, AW Neill and EJ Dunn competed against wrestlers from all over the Island and from the Lower Mainland.
Team titles were awarded by combining standings in the male and female divisions.
ADSS and EJ Dunn finished second in the senior and junior divisions, while Neill placed 10th in the junior division.
ADSS’ Remi Wells (57kg), Jordan Wagner (55 kg), Nolan Badovinac (80 kg) and Christian Anderson (90kg) went undefeated and claimed gold medals.
Micaela Dick (second at 67kg), Jesse Wagner (second at 55 kg), Dean Leyland (second at 68kg), Eryk McKenzie (third at 68g) also added to the senior teams medal count.
Emma Vanderlee (fourth at 67kg), Jarred Beckett (fourth at 51kg), Johannes Kulich (fourth at 68kg), Kaden Tardiff (fifth at 68kg), and Ben Salitter (fifth at 67kg) added valuable team points.
ADSS seniors finished with a total of 62 points, edging out by Esquimalt Secondary who finished with 63 points. The Cowichan Wrestling Club finished in third.
A team title would have been nice but wrestlers are looking at the long term, ADSS coach Russ Bodnar said. “…we plan our practices and season to have our peak performance in February/March. You have to build up to get to that point,” Bodnar said.
Cowichan took first place in the junior team standings with the EJ Dunn Seahawks finishing second.
Cowichan’s club is comprised 10 different schools that compete as one team, and as the tournament host they can do that, Dunn coach Jen Johnson said. “We were the top placing school program,” Johnson said.
The Seahawks were led by the gold medal performances of Summer Wass (47 kg) and Aaron Badovinac (54 kg). Kalissa Montgomery (second at 45kg), and Morgan Dagenais (second at 51kg).
AW Neill Middle School also had three athletes place in the junior division: Daniel Spencer (second at 54kg), Bella Jones (third at 54kg), and Tristan Green (sixth at 51kg).
“We had a number of Grade 6 athletes who we had compete in the younger Grade 5-6 division as well,” Bodnar said. “It was nice for them to have a tournament where they were not in the bottom of their age division.”
Alberni wrestlers will be training hard in preparation for some important competitions prior to the winter break.
The majority of the ADSS team have been selected to compete as members of an Island Elite Team at the Abby Invitational Dec. 8.
The team will compete at the War On the Floor Tournament in Langley Dec. 20 and 21.
Neill and Dunn wrestlers are preparing for the first of their dual meet matches at Dunn Dec. 12.
Edited: For correct spelling in headline