Alberni wrestlers return from SFU’s War on Floor

It was hand to hand combat - sort of - for high school wrestlers as they competed in the War on the Floor event at SFU last weekend.

Alberni Armada wrestler Christian Anderson

It was War on the Floor for Alberni wrestlers at Simon Fraser University.

Alberni took a strong group over for both the Grade 9-12 Novice event on Thursday, and for the Elite category on Friday.

Alberni wrestlers captured three gold, five silver and two bronze medals. As well, another  nine wrestlers placed in the top six at the prestigious mainland event.

ADSS Grade 12 wrestler Cullen Hines lead the way for the Alberni wrestlers.

Hines, who is considered a top wrestler in the province, was on top of his game at SFU. He took a gold medal  in the 78 kiliogram weight class in the Elite division.

“Cullen is extremely explosive when he chooses to be,” ADSS coach John McDonald said. “He sometimes starts a bit slow in a match but when he turns it on he can beat anyone.”

Hines had to come from behind to win his first and final matches.

“If we can get Cullen wrestling consistently from beginning to end in all matches there are few wrestlers at his weight who can beat him,” McDonald said.

Grade 10 wrestler Jesse Wagner also took gold in the Elite division.

Wagner was solid all meet long in the 51 kg weight class. He dominated the final, pinning his opponent early after a throw.

“After Jesse executed that throw I looked at John and said, did you see that,” coach James Messenger said. “That was quite the throw that we are still not sure how he pulled it off.”

Grade 8 wrestler Michaela Dick from EJ Dunn brought home Alberni’s third gold medal. Dick and a few other Grade 8 wrestlers were added to the roster for the grade 9-12 Novice on Thursday.

Wrestling in the Grade 9-10 age group Dick showed why she is one of the Alberni’s top young prospects at 60 kg.

“Michaela is extremely strong and athletic for her age,” said Dunn co-coach Russ Bodnar, “She has no trouble going against older girls.”

Grade 12 wrestler Daley Forbes had an exceptional career in women’s wrestling.

Forbes has returned to ADSS for her final year after a year in Ft. St. John with her father. Forbes is already a two time national champion in her respective age categories but she wants to finish off with a high school championship. At SFU Forbes only lost one match at 75 kg to finish with the silver medal.

Newcomer Connor McDonald also took a silver in the Elite division on Friday. McDonald and his family moved to Alberni from Chetwyn last year but a knee injury prevented him from wrestling. This year he looks healthy and has been a great addition to the ADSS team.

McDonald went undefeated all the way to the final before losing in a close one to take second.

In the Grade 9-10 Novice,  EJ Dunn’s Julia McGowan took silver at 64 kg. Grade 9 wrestler Nolan Badovinac moved up to the Grade 11-12 division and still won the silver medal at 70 kg.

ADSS teammate Janelle Beckett was the silver medalist in the Grade 11-12 novice at 54 kg. Bronze medals were won by Christian Anderson and Russell David of ADSS in the Grade 9-10 age group at 90-plus and 51 kg respectively.

Placing fourth in the various age and experience groups were ADSS wrestlers Remi Wells (Grade 9-10, 54 kg), Riley Neville (90 kg Grade 9-10), Sheldon Haddad (60kg, Grade 11-12) and Christian Anderson ( 90-plus kg, Elite).

Fifth place finishers for ADSS were Tristen Schultz (Grader 9-10 90 kg), Samantha Anderson (75-plus, Grade 11-12 and Elite), and Nolan Badovinac (70 kg Elite). Jenelle Beckett was sixth at 54 kg Elite.

Team placings were not available at press time.

While early season rankings are not yet out it is expected that ADSS will once again be among the top teams in both boys and girls but as a combined group they could repeat as BC Champions for the third year in a row.

The annual Alberni Invitational is set to go on Feb. 2-4, 2012.

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