A full team of wrestlers from Port Alberni kicked off the 2015-16 wrestling season at the Island Novice Wrestling Championships in Courtenay on Saturday.
The tourney marks the official start of the school wrestling season.
The novice tournament is intended for athletes who are relatively new to the sport and there are restrictions as to who can compete. As a result a number of the Alberni wrestlers either did not travel to Courtenay or travelled down to referee rather than wrestle in the tournament.
Despite having only a portion of their wrestlers compete, a number of Port Alberni athletes did very well.
As a team the Alberni Armada placed second in the Senior Girls Division and fourth in the Senior Boys Division.
Individually, 12 Alberni wrestlers finished in the top five in their respective weight classes. Four Armada wrestlers finished with the silver medal in their weight classes. Miranda Barker (Jr. Girl’s 75kg), Scott Coulthart (Sr. Men’s 77kg), Mackenzie Boudreau (Sr. Women’s 65kg) and Kyla McAuley (Sr. Women’s 105kg). Prateesh Giri finished fourth in the Senior Men’s 70 kilogram division.
“It was great to see our Junior Varsity kids take to the mats today,” commented ADSS Coach Russ Bodnar. “They have been working pretty hard over the last month and it was nice to see them put what we have been practicing into action.
“I thought Scott Coulthart wrestled well today. He moved well and made some good decisions in his preliminary matches. He faced a tough opponent in the finals and ended up on the losing end.”
Coulthart and his coaches will build on the success of his earlier matches, Bodnar said, “and losing his last match gives him something to continue work on moving forward.”
Seven junior members of the Alberni Valley Wrestling Club managed to finish in the top six. For many this was their first wrestling tournament.
Paige Maher went undefeated in the 68 kilogram Junior Girls Division. Malika McDonald (Jr. Girls 39kg) and Landyn Clayton (Jr. Boys 61kg) both finished with the silver medals in their respective weight classes.
Five other junior wrestlers rounded out the placings; Ezra Frost (4th Jr. Boys 43kg), Ryan Tramer (4th Jr. Boys 61kg), Logan Jager (5th Jr. Boys 45kg), and George Batt (5th Jr. Boys 49kg).
Wrestlers will be right back on the mats training this week in preparation for the Cougar Invitational in Duncan next Saturday. The tournament will see the ADSS Armada field a full squad of wrestlers. Parents, wrestlers and program supporters interested in finding out more about upcoming wrestling events can visit the club’s website www.alberniwrestling.ca.