The 31st Annual Alberni Invitational Wrestling Tournament is in the books and by all variables it was another outstanding event.
Increased travel costs and shrinking school budgets reduced entries to fewer than 500, but the quality of competition was still high.
Alberni wrestlers turned in some incredible performances.
Local wrestlers captured 21 medals and placed 43 wrestlers in the top six placings of their weight classes.
The ADSS Girls won the Juvenile division while the ADSS Boys minus the injured Nolan Badovinac were third in Juvenile. Dunn won the School Girl division and were fourth in School Boys while Neill was third in girls and second in the boys. ADSS was shut out in the Cadet Division this year.
Individually, six wrestlers took gold medals in their age and weight divisions.
ADSS wrestlers Jordan Wagner and Remi Wells at 57 kg in Juvenile boys and Juvenile girls.
Three local girls won School Girl gold with victories at 36 kg, 45 kg and 62 kg. Anna Frost of Dunn took the 36 kg school girl title while teammate Kylea Anderson was first at 62 kg. Neill’s Lily Timothy won the 45 kg weight. Seth Price of Neill took the championship at 36 kg in the School Boy division.
Five Alberni wrestlers captured silver medals at the Invitational. Two time BC champion Jesse Wagner lost a hard fought battle with fellow BC champion Oscar Bulaqui of North Vancouver in the Juvenile boys 54 kg final. Bulaqui is also a reigning National champion.
Wagner’s teammate Michel Kurucz did the same in her 60 kg Juvenile girls final against Brandy Perry of Carson Graham.
AW Neill school boy wrestlers Shane Leeper and Daniel Spencer took second place honours in their 49 kg and 59 kg weights respectively. Dunn’s Circe Campbell won a silver medal in the 45 kg school girl division.
Local wrestlers won 10 bronze medals. New comer Emma McGowan showed some real promise in placing third at 64 kg Juvenile girls. School girls Ally Flaro and Miranda Barker of Dunn were third at 42 kg and 53 kg with Neill’s Kiarra Charlesworth third at 58 kg.
In the School Boy division bronze medals were claimed by Dunn wrestlers Isaac McDonald 41 kg, Jayden Iverson 56 kg, Aaron Badovinac 64 kg, Skyler Lynn 68 kg and Jayce Clayton 74 kg. Neill’s Leonard Nookemis was third at 59 kg.