Aaron Badovinac (centre) received the gold medal in the U19 Men 71 kg category in Edmonton, Alberta. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni wrestlers shine on national stage

13 Alberni Valley athletes competed in Edmonton, Alberta

The Alberni Valley Wrestling Club sent 13 athletes to Edmonton, Alberta to compete in the 2018 National Championships from April 13 – 15. The three days were comprised of several different tournaments: day one saw men’s freestyle, day two showcased women’s freestyle and men’s UWW Cadet Trials and day three hosted women’s UWW Cadet Trials and Greco Roman wrestling.

Alberni got off to a great start on the first day of competition. Aaron Badovinac led the way, dominating the competition to claim the gold medal at 71 kg. Badovinac pined and teched his way to the gold medal, only giving up one takedown in the whole tournament. Owen Spencer finished with the silver medal in the U17 60kg division. Seth Price (U17 55kg) and Ravi Manhas (U19 45 kg) both battled to finish with bronze medals. Three other wrestlers finished in the top six: Daniel Spencer (4th U19 71kg), Scott Coulthart (5th U17 92kg) and William Merry (6th U19 125kg).

Day two saw the women compete, along with the trials for the National Wrestling Team trials. Competing in her first national tournament, Paige Maher won a bronze in the U17 69kg division. Owen Spencer finished third in the team trials, and teammate Seth Price was fifth.

The final day of competition showcased Greco Roman wrestling. Greco Roman is a style of wrestling that involves only the upper body, and it is not a style that high school athletes train in. Alberni wrestlers have limited experience wrestling this style.

What they lacked in experience they made up for in heart. As a team, Alberni finished fourth in the male Greco Roman division. Ravi Manhas, Scott Coulthart and Anna Frost won silver medals in the Greco competition. Isaac McDonald and Jayce Clayton battled through to claim bronze in their divisions, and Mackenzie Boudreau finished fourth. Paige Maher finished second in the Cadet Team trials, though she lost a barn burner of challenge match to hold the alternate position.

“It was really nice to see our grade 12s finish their high school careers on a positive note,” said coach John McDonald. “The hard work and dedication put in by all these athletes on the mats this year was evident in their results.”

The National tournament marks the end of the competitive season for the majority of wrestlers, but a select few will continue to train as members of the BC Summer Games team this summer.

Thursday, April 26 is Alberni Wrestling’s annual awards night. It is a free, after dinner event that celebrates the hard work put in by all involved. If you would like tickets, please contact John McDonald at jmcdonald@sd70.bc.ca or Tom McEvay at tmcevay@shaw.ca.

April marks the beginning of a busy fundraising season for our athletes. If you would like to support our wrestlers or would like more information, please visit our website www.alberniwrestling.ca.

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