Alberni Valley wrestlers won in more ways than one at the 29th annual Alberni Invitational, organizer Tom McEvay said.
Alberni wrestlers combined to take the overall club championship, as well 12 gold, eight silver and six bronze medals at the two-day event last weekend.
“Local athletes got to showcase their abilities on their home turf,” McEvay said. “And visitors knew they were participating in a world class event.”
Wrestlers from ADSS took top honours in the cadet boys and juvenile girls categories, while grapplers from EJ Dunn earned second place in school age boys and third place in school age girls categories. “Thirty-three Alberni athletes finished in the top four of their weight classes and that’s a pretty impressive statistic,” McEvay said.
Several wrestlers stood out, EJ Dunn wrestling coach James Messenger said. Bailey Durning staged the biggest upset of the meet when she beat 2011 national champion Meagan Kuruvita from Cowichan in the 64 kilogram juvenile girls division.
Jordie Bodnar, who hasn’t wrestled much this year, staged the biggest comeback when she beat Terry Fox’s Terryn Kegge in the 43 kg juvenile girls division.
For the boys, Jesse Wagner availed himself with a win over Michael Herman from Phoenix in the 51 kg cadet boys class.
The 2012 invitational was the last for Alberni’s Cullen Hines, Connor McDonald, Wes Boris and Janelle Beckett.
But it was also the first for a slough of Grade 8 wrestlers from EJ Dunn and AW Neill.