Press Release- Island Novice

Post date: Nov 29, 2010 6:47:55 PM

Wrestling teams from Alberni District Secondary School and Dunn and Neill Middle Schools travelled to Campbell River on Saturday to compete at the Island Novice Wrestling Championships. The tournament marks the official start of the school wrestling season although many locals attended an exhibition meet in Nanaimo last weekend. Not surprisingly the Alberni Valley was well represented by its school wrestling teams. Although the weather did deter a few athletes from making the trip the relatively small Alberni teams faired well despite their numbers.

EJ Dunn Middle School was the top team in the Senior Girls despite competing against high schools from across Vancouver Island. The Dunn girls were led by Remi Wells who went undefeated to win the Gold Medal in the 50 kg division. Michel Kurucz won a silver medal in the 57 kg Girls division. Michel was dominant in her preliminary matches but came up against a tough high school wrestler from Campbell River in the final.

“The Island Novice is intended for beginner wrestlers. Since Remi and Michel have a couple years experience we decided to bump them up to the Senior Division to challenge them a little. We certainly didn’t expect to come home with the title but that was an added bonus,” explained EJ Dunn coach Russ Bodnar. Also competing in the Senior Girls division were two rookie wrestlers from ADSS. As a pair the ADSS Girls Team managed to finished a respectable 5th place. Elaina Todd (50 kg) was second and Isabella Larson (57 kg) was fourth.

In the Junior Girls division Neill Middle School finished third behind host Phoenix Middle School and Dover Bay from Nanaimo. The Neill girls were led by the gold medal performance of Corrine Gough (40 kg). Also placing for Neill was Bella Jones (4th at 40 kg). The EJ Dunn Junior Girls finished fifth as a team based on the silver medal performance of up and comer Micaela Dick (54 kg).

On the boys side the EJ Dunn boys finished third in the Junior Boys Division behind Phoenix Middle School and the Victoria Bulldogs Club. The Dunn boys were led by the outstanding performance of rookie wrestler Jamie Durning who won the gold medal at 35 kg. Kenny Wale (2nd at 45 kg) and Tyler Drew-Adams (3rd at 78+ kg) also added to EJ Dunn’s medal count. Trevor Barker (4th at 33kg), Tyler Maxwell (4th at 45 kg), TJ Manson (5th at 45 kg) and Oliver Witham (5th at 45 kg) all contributed valuable team points.

Neill Middle School was also well represented in the Junior Boys Division. Local Chris Kurucz brought home the Gold Medal in the heavy weight division, Ben Salitter brought home the bronze at 66 kg, and Cody Stewart was fifth at 70 kg. ADSS had two Grade 9s new to the sport who were also eligible to compete in the Junior Boys Division. Tristan Schulze (1st at 78+kg) and Johnny Loudon (3rd at 57 kg) showed they will be valuable additions to the ADSS team this year.

Due to the fact the tournament is classified as a novice tournament only a small number of ADSS wrestlers were eligible to compete in the Senior Boys Division. All three of those wrestlers who competed brought home medals. Sheldon Haddad went undefeated to claim the gold medal at 59 kg, Wes Boris claimed the silver at 74 kg, and Cole Walton finished with the bronze at 86kg. Grade 8 EJ Dunn wrestler Nolan Badovinac was bumped up to the Senior Boys division and brought home a silver medal at 72 kg.

Wrestlers from all three teams will be right back on the mats training this week in preparation for upcoming tournaments. On Saturday a select group of elite wrestlers will be travelling to SFU to compete in the Roberts Rumble. Wrestlers at all levels will be travelling to the Chemanius for the Cougar Invitational December 11th and SFU for the War On the Floor December 15, 16, & 17.

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James Messenger

PE/Athletic Team Leader - EJ Dunn Middle School

Head Coach - Alberni Wrestling Valley Wrestling Club/Vancouver Island Wrestling Regional Program

c 250-735-8854