The Armada wrestling team traveled to compete in the annual War on the Floor Tournament held in Coquitlam on Dec.15 and 16.
Competition at The War on the Floor is divided into two levels: the Novice Tournament runs all day Thursday and the Elite Tournament on Friday.
The morning of day one saw two Alberni athletes competing in the Grade 8 -9 Novice. Grade 8 Landyn Clayton (66kg) wrestled two close matches but was unable to secure a victory. Fellow Grade 8, Paige Maher (75kg), dominated all of her matches en route to a gold medal.
The afternoon of day two had 10 Armada athletes competing in the Grade 10-12 Novice Tournament. The team had outstanding results. Gold medal winners included Jayden Iversen (70kg), Jayce Clayton (84kg), Paige Maher (75kg), and Mackenzie Boudreau (60 kg). Darien Van Ingen (54kg) won a silver medal, followed by bronze medal winners Scott Coulthart (84kg) and Owen Spencer (57kg).
Strong performances were given by Prateesh Giri, fifth at 57kg and William Merry (130kg).
Coach Russ Bodnar commented, “The Novices performed better than expected this early in the season. We have a very committed young group and the hard work they have put in over the last couple of months was evident today.”
Day two saw 13 Armada athletes competing in the Elite tournament.
The team was lead by a dominant gold medal performance by Grade 11, Aaron Badovinac (74kg). Badovinac is clearly the number one wrestler in B.C. at this weight as the season starts.
He is also high on Team BC lists for the Canada Games this coming summer. Badovinac is a returning BC silver medalist who has one goal on his mind with the target of a BC High School Championship in early March.
Grade 8, Paige Maher (75kg), wrestled in her first Elite competition and came home with a silver medal, her third medal of the weekend. Ravi Manhas (45kg) and Owen Spencer (57kg) each had terrific performances, bringing home bronze medals.
Rounding out top five placers were Daniel Spencer (78kg), fourth place, and Jayce Clayton (84kg), Isaac Macdonald (60kg) and Mackenzie Boudreau (60kg) with fifth place finishes.
Morgan Dagenais (64Kg), Jayden Iversen (70 kg) , Scott Coulthart (84 kg), Trevor Barker (51kg) and Prateesh Giri (57kg) all gained valuable experience in their matches on Friday.
“I was very pleased with the team’s performance over the last two days,” said head Armada coach, John McDonald. “This is a tough tournament for early in the season, and our results reflected the level of training we have been doing. Some of our younger wrestlers had some wins against some of the best wrestlers in B.C.”
“Paige Maher turned some heads as a Grade 8 in an Elite tournament this weekend. Aaron Badovinac dominated his weight class and will be a force to reckon with this year. Owen Spencer, as a Grade 9, showed that he can compete at an elite level.”
Alberni wrestlers will continue training over the Christmas break at camps in Campbell River, Cowichan and at SFU along with regular club practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The next tournament is the Cougar Invite on Jan. 14 in Cowichan.