Nolan Badovinac faces Ajay Gill of Burnaby Mountain WC in the 84-Kg final.

Nolan Badovinac faces Ajay Gill of Burnaby Mountain WC in the 84-Kg final.

Silver for Badovinac

Nolan Badovinac has always been a person to rise to a challenge.

Nolan Badovinac has always been a person to rise to a challenge. The grade 12 Alberni wrestler did that again last weekend at the Junior National Wrestling Championships at Brock University.

Despite being a 17-year-old juvenile wrestler the local high school champion from ADSS was selected to wrestle at the Junior Nationals for athletes 19-20 years of age. Badovinac pulled off a silver medal against the big boys.

“What Nolan accomplished doing so well at the Junior Nationals is truly remarkable,” observed an enthusiastic Alberni Wrestling director Tom McEvay.

“Not only was he giving up a critical age difference, he was also wrestling at 84 kg when he walks around at about 80 kg and most of his opponents were coming down from 90 kg or heavier. These are big men, with college wrestling experience who Nolan beat to make the final.”

In the 84 kg final Badovinac met Burnaby’s Ajay Gill and the differences caught up to him. Gill overpowered Badovinac and did not give him the opportunity to use some of his offensive weapons. One of those weapons is a wicked ability to throw and the Alberni boy did catch Gill with one spectacular 4 point throw, the only points scored on Gill the entire Nationals.

“Nolan’s strategy against Gill was to tie him up and look for the throw,” said Alberni coach James Messenger, “but he quickly realized Gill was too big and too strong to control in that situation, but by the Gill had built up a sizable lead. This is great experience for Nolan since at his own age group he can usually dictate the style of match he wants. Nolan loves to be pushed, in fact he thrives on it and this gives him the opportunity to develop to the next level.”

In order to reach the final on Friday Badovinac had to beat some tough opponents and he showed it will be difficult to deny him a Junior title in the next two years.  These included Brock’s Ignatius Pitt, a wrestler who competed at 90 kg throughout the college season and cut to 84 kg for the Nationals.  Badovinac built an early lead against Pitt and won 9-7. In the semi -final he beat favoured Joban Phulka  of Hamilton with a throw and a pin late in a close match.

With Badovinac’s young age and lighter stature there was some discussion about him cutting to the lighter 74 kg weight class but the BC coaches and his own Alberni coaches agreed it was best for his health and development to stick with the 84 kg weight. “The Junior Nationals were not Nolan’s focus this year. They were an opportunity to learn and be pushed after a season of dominating at the high school level in BC,” stated Messenger.

Meanwhile, Badovinac’s focus is now on winning a National title at his own Juvenile age group. Badovinac will head to Fredericton New Brunswick with Team BC April 9-12 for the Cadet/Juvenile Nationals. He will be joined by his brother Aaron who will compete as a first year Cadet for 15-16 year olds and ADSS teammate Michel Kurucz who, like Nolan, is in her last year of Juvenile. Nolan is a two time National Cadet champion but last year was injured and unable to finish his first National Juveniles.

Letters are going out this week from Alberni Wrestling to service clubs and others asking for financial assistance in meeting the expenses of getting their 3 wrestlers to Fredericton. “It couldn’t be further away and tickets alone are close to $1500 each.  The expense for these Nationals will be $6,000-$8,000 and these families will have to cover most of this,” said McEvay,  “Amateur sport in Canada is not well funded so athletes and families and their local clubs are left with footing the bills. Our club will help as much as we can but if anyone wishes to help please contact me at 250-724-0577 or email tmcevay@shaw.ca . “

– submitted by Tom McEvay

Just Posted

Aidan See played for the North Island Silvertips during the 2019-2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY RON HAYES)
VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers add hometown talent to roster

Junior B hockey club signs Aidan See, Blake Power and Grayson Erickson

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read