Sixteen wrestlers from the Alberni Valley earned medals at the Western Canadian Age Class tournament in Kamloops last weekend.
The event drew 500 wrestlers from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, including a contingent of 29 from the Alberni Valley.
EJ Dunn led the Alberni team, placing second in both boys and girls School Age divisions. Aaron Badovinac was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler in the School Age division after winning gold in the 55kg weight class.
Adding to medal totals were Summer Wass, Trevor Barker (silver), Kalissa Montgomery, Morgan Dagenais, and Mathew Grimston (bronze). Other top six placers included Ravi Manhas (fourth), Trenton Vanderkooi (fourth), Queenie Zhang (fourth), and Austin Patten (sixth).
“I was extremely impressed that all 10 Dunn wrestlers in the competition placed in their respective weight classes,” Dunn coach Andrew Edgell said.
Not to be outdone by their younger teammates, the Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) Cadet boys took second overall and the Cadet girls took third overall.
The ADSS group was led by two wrestlers who went undefeated to claim gold medals in their respective weight classes. In the Cadet division for ages 15–16, wrestler Nolan Badovinac claimed top spot in the 76 kilogram division and Micaela Dick followed suit in the 65 kilogram division.
Other top performers for ADSS included Johannes Kulich (silver, 69 kg), Michel Kurucz (silver 60 kg), Dean Leyland (bronze 69 kg), Emma Vanderlee (bronze 70 kg), Remi Wells (bronze 56 kg), and Eryk McKenzie (fourth 69 kg). Tyler Drew-Adams (100 kg), Lauren Barker (56 kg), and Jarred Beckett (50 kg) all had strong performances but finished out of the standings.
The ADSS Juvenile wrestlers placed second overall in the boys division due to outstanding performances by team captain Jonathan Spencer (second 76 kg), Jesse Wagner (second 54 kg), Jordan Wagner (third 54kg) and Russell David (third 50 kg).
In her first year of wrestling, Elise Huffman was the lone representative in the Juvenile girls division. Huffman finished sixth in the 70 kg weight class. Wrestlers Sheldon Haddad, David Wilson and Kaden Tardif finished out of the standings.
The season will continue with the Island Championships in Ucluelet from Feb. 15-16 and the BC High School Championships in Cowichan, Feb. 28-March 1.
The season wraps up for some of the top wrestlers at the National Championships April 3-7 in Saskatoon, Sask.