Mason Bodnar, top, from Alberni District Secondary School tries to pin his opponent at the annual Cougar Invitational wrestling tournament in Mill Bay on Saturday, Dec. 8. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Mason Bodnar, top, from Alberni District Secondary School tries to pin his opponent at the annual Cougar Invitational wrestling tournament in Mill Bay on Saturday, Dec. 8. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni wrestlers win senior boys’ division at Cougar Invitational

Members of the Alberni Wrestling Club travelled to Mill Bay last weekend

JAMES MESSENGER

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Wrestlers from Alberni District Secondary School and junior members of the Alberni Wrestling Club travelled to Mill Bay to compete in the Cougar Invitational on Dec. 8. The tournament featured wrestlers from all over the Island and Alberni had a strong showing. ADSS finished first in the Senior Division and second in the Junior Division.

The Cougar Invitational featured three age divisions; Senior – Grades 10 to 12, Junior -Grades 7 to 9 and Elementary – Grades 3 to 6.

The ADSS Armada won the Senior Division beating out hometown Cowichan Secondary. Bobby Mackenzie (48kg), Seth Price (66kg), Jayce Clayton (93kg), Scott Coulthart (103kg), Paige Maher (70kg), and Mackenzie Boudreau (90kg) all went undefeated to claim gold medals in their respective divisions. Duncan McLeod (54kg) finished with a silver and Mason Bodnar (3rd at 93kg), Connor Alexander (3rd at 103kg), and Brett Lehtonen (4th at 66kg) rounded out the placings for ADSS in the Senior Division.

The Armada had a number of up and coming wrestlers compete in the Junior division, finishing second as a team behind the hometown team Queen of Angels. Evan McLeod (41kg), Cole Robinson (70kg) and Ryann Tramer (78kg) finished at the top of the podium with gold medals. Rowan Cole (47kg), Kyle Parkar (57kg) and Austin Kasten (78kg) finished with silver medals and Noah Cloke brought home the bronze (41kg). Ezra Frost (4th at 51kg), Madison Bigmore (4th at 60kg) and Carter Duperron (4th at 54kg) rounded out the placings for the Junior Armada.

Junior Club wrestler Grant Coulthart brought home the bronze medal in the Junior Heavyweight division despite only being in elementary school.

In addition to the strong contingent of wrestlers from ADSS, a handful of Junior Club wrestlers travelled to compete in an elementary aged division. Momo Parzanishi (1st at 26kg), Jordyn George (2nd at 26kg), Janna Hiltz (2nd at 44kg), Chance Swann (2nd at 32kg), Alex Bielert (2nd at 49kg), Nolan Cross (3rd at 26kg), and Kaden Thompson (3rd at 47kg) all helped show that the future looks bright for Alberni Wrestling.

“For our experienced wrestlers this was an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and sharpen up heading into the provincial level War On the Floor next week,” ADSS coach John McDonald said.

“For our newer less experienced wrestlers this was a great opportunity for them to see what they need to work on to get to that intermediate and elite level. Paige Maher looked strong beating Kaitlyn Jinda, a returning provincial champ from Campbell River. Seth, Jayce and a few others didn’t really get challenged too much. They will see tougher competition next week. Coach Bodnar was pleased with many of the young kids especially Evan McLeod’s performance.”

ADSS wrestlers will be training hard in preparation for the War On the Floor Tournament in Burnaby this week.