Alberni Wrestlers from EJ Dunn, AW Neill and Alberni District Secondary travelled to Duncan to compete in the Cougar Invitational last Saturday.
Wrestlers from all three schools had a strong showing at this tournament, which featured athletes from all over the Island and some schools from the lower mainland. The tournament awards their team titles by combining standings in the male and female divisions. At the end of the day ADSS dominated the tournament finishing 1st in the Senior Division and 9th in the Junior division. EJ Dunn had a strong showing in the Junior Division with 5th place.
Leading the way for Alberni with gold medals were Remi Wells (58kg), Jordan Wagner (60 kg), Jesse Wagner (58kg), Nolan Badovinac (84 kg), Christian Anderson (96kg) and Dean Leyland (76kg). Finishing undefeated for middle school was Kylea Anderson (64kg) from EJ Dunn and Scott Couthart (60kg) from AW Neill.
Adding to the medal count for ADSS was Eryk Cardinal (2nd at 71kg), Johannes Kulich (2nd at 68kg), Michel Kurucz (2nd at 64kg), Oliver Witham (2nd at 74kg), Isabella Jones (2nd at 64kg) and Morgan Dagenais (2nd at 54kg). Neill Middle School’s medal count was increased by Owen Spencer (3rd at 40kg), Lily Timothy (3rd at 43kg) and Spencer Lutar (3rd at 38kg). EJ Dunn had Sarah Matthews (3rd at 44kg), Phil Broadbent (2nd at 51kg), Isaac McDonald (3rd at 45kg), Jayce Clayton (3rd at 74kg), Jarrod Gagnon (3rd at 66kg) bring home medals.
Helping with team points were Austin Patten (6th at 63kg), Russell David (6th at 54kg), Jarred Beckett (4th at 58kg), David Wilson (4th at 65kg) and Jarred Beckett (4th at 58kg) for ADSS. AW Neill had Damian Meaney (4th at 35kg), Shane Leeper (4th at 51kg), Leonard Nookemis (6th at 57kg), Daniel Spencer (5th at 63kg). EJ Dunn had Ravi Manhas (5th at 35kg), Jayden Iverson (5th at 57kgs), Austin Saluk (4th at 66kg) and Aaron Badovinac (5th at 65kg) who wrestled up in the Senior Division which provided him with a great challenge.
“Our team shows a lot of promise this year with so many dedicated athletes. It was nice to win the team title today to start of the season off strong. We are just getting our season going and still expect our peak performance in February/March. You have to build up to get to that point. I am happy about where we are in terms of our development,” concluded ADSS assistant Coach Chris Bodnar.
Neill coach Jen Johnson added, “There was some hard competition there this weekend and it was a great challenge for many of our wrestlers. The Alberni team is one of the best teams I have every coached as they are kind and watch out for each other. The high school wrestlers will check in and help out the new or young Middle School athletes and it is amazing to be a part of.”
ADSS wrestlers will be training hard in preparation for the War on the Floor Tournament this week in Vancouver. On Wednesday the less experienced grade 9-12 wrestlers will compete in the Novice category.