Alberni District Secondary School hosted the Island Novice Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Dec. 1. The tournament marks the official start of the competitive wrestling season.
The novice tournament is intended for athletes who are relatively new to the sport and there are restrictions as to who can compete, coach James Messenger explained. As a result, a number of the more senior Alberni wrestlers participated in the tournament as referees and a few took the weekend off to rest.
As a team the ADSS Armada won the Senior Boys Division and was second in both Senior Girls and Junior Boys Divisions. A handful of elementary members of the Junior Wrestling Club also competed. Coaches were excited to see the team successful in all four divisions.
Eighteen Alberni wrestlers finished in the top six in their respective weight classes. Evan McLeod (Jr. Boys 41), Carter Duperron (Jr. Boys 58), Duncan Richardson (Jr. Boys 90), Cole Robinson (Sr. Boys 71kg), Andrew Audet (Sr. Boys 78), and Connor Alexander (Sr. Boys 104kg) all went undefeated to claim the gold medal in their divisions.
Finishing with silver medals in their weight classes was Austin Caton (Sr. Boys 83kg), Madison Bigmore (Sr. Girls 62kg), and Grant Coulthart (Jr. Boys 90kg).
Wyatt Young (Jr. Boys 61) and Jordyn George (Jr. Girls 36kg) both wrestled their way to the bronze medals in their weight classes.
Ezra Frost (4th Jr. Boys 51), Kyle Parkar (4th Jr. Boys 61), Janna Hiltz (4th Jr. Girls 39), Noah Cloak (5th Jr. Boys 41), Annika Charlesworth (5th Jr. Girls 39), Alex Bielert (5th Jr. Boys 51), and Victoria Hall (6th Jr. Girls 48) rounded out the top six placers.
“From a hosting perspective things went well, as always our volunteers were amazing,” tournament director and coach Russ Bodnar said. “On the mats I was really pleased with how we wrestled. It is great to see the wrestlers coming up through our development system and helping rebuild our team. We have kids new to the sport at almost every grade level and that is good for the future.”
Wrestlers will be right back on the mats training this week in preparation for the Cougar Invitational in Chemainus on Dec. 8. In addition to Junior Club kids the tournament will see the ADSS Armada field a full squad of wrestlers.
MAT TALK…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.