Press Release - Island Novice 2013

Post date: Dec 2, 2013 6:20:04 AM

Alberni Wrestlers Compete at Island Novice in Esquimalt

Wrestling teams from ADSS, EJ Dunn, and Neill Middle School travelled to Esquimalt on Saturday to compete at the Island Novice Wrestling Championships. The tournament 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 Victoria or travelled down to referee rather than wrestle in the tournament. Despite having only a portion of their wrestlers compete the local teams did very well.

Boys and Girls results were combined to determine the overall Middle School Team Standings. EJ Dunn Middle School and Neill Middle School finished the tournament tied with 65 points each. When the tie breaking criteria, most gold medals was applied, EJ Dunn was awarded third and Neill fourth. Phoenix Middle School from Campbell River finished first and a combined team from multiple schools in Cowichan finished second.

EJ Dunn was led by the gold medal performances of Ally Flaro (43kg Girls), Bobby McKenzie (29kg Boys), and William Merry (Hwt. Boys). Seth Price from Neill Middle School went undefeated to claim the gold medal in the Junior Boys 35kg category.

“I was really impressed by the performance of all our middle school wrestlers,” commented EJ Dunn Coach Russ Bodnar. “Seth Price from Neill and Ally Flaro from EJ Dunn were particularly dominant. Their performances at this tournament indicate that both Seth and Ally are ready to compete at the next level. Hopefully they both stick with this sport because I predict very bright futures.”

Anna Frost (Dunn 34kg Girls), Miranda Barker (Dunn 54kg Girls), Kylea Anderson (Dunn 64kg Girls), Ravi Manhas (Dunn 35kg Boys), Ripley Janzen (Neill 41kg Boys), Jayden Iverson (Dunn 57kg Boys), Daniel Spencer (Neill 60kg Boys), and Jayce Clayton (Dunn 78kg Boys) all claimed the silver medals in their weight classes. EJ Dunn rookie coach Emma Vanderlee made the following assessment, “Alberni had nine silver medalists today. In many cases they were one or two points away from going undefeated. With a couple more practices and some hard work I think they are going to be even more impressive.”

Olivia Zanette (Dunn 34kg Girls), Mackenzie Boudreau (Dunn 43kg Girls), Teela Johnson (Neill 51kg Girls), Shane Leeper (Neill 51kg Boys) and Leonard Nookemis (Neill 60kg Boys) finished with bronze medals in their respective weight classes.

Dakota McKenzie (Neill 4th 57kg Girls), Jenna Sportak (Dunn 4th 64kg Girls), Kenji Boyko (Neill 4th 35kg Boys), Hunter Cootes (Dunn 4th 45 kg Boys), Jarrod Gagnon (Dunn 4th 66kg Boys), Harley Barkhouse (Dunn 5th 66kg Boys), and Kodi Van den Broek (Neill 6th 60kg Boys) rounded out the top six placers in the Middle School Division.

“I am really excited about how closely the two middle schools finished today,” commented Neill Head Coach Erin Anker. “I think we are going to have some exciting dual meets between the two schools and I think we can make a run at EJ Dunn this year. They have been holding onto that dual meet trophy for too long.”

ADSS had five wrestlers compete in the Novice tournament and all five of them placed. David Wilson led the way with a gold medal in the Men’s 62kg division. Trevor Barker (Men’s 41kg) and newcomer Cam McFarlane (Men’s Hwt.) finished with silver medals in their respective weight classes. Tanner Cook (4th at 71kg Men) and Austin Patten (5th at 64kg Men) rounded out the finishers for ADSS.

“We have a great development program in Alberni,” commented Coach Jeanette Badovinac. “As a result a lot of people think you have to start wrestling before high school. David Wilson and Cam McFarlane’s performance at the tournament proves that wrong. David started wrestling last year in Grade 11 and Cam who is in Grade 12 started wrestling just a few weeks ago. It isn’t an easy sport but if you work hard and are willing to learn you will have fun and probably even experience some success. Our season is under way but new or returning wrestlers are always welcome.”

In addition to those competing ADSS sent down a contingent of elite wrestlers to participate in an Island Practice and rules clinic on Friday. In a successful effort to be reinstated in the Olympics wrestling has made some pretty drastic rule changes. ADSS experienced wrestlers had the opportunity to learn the rules and get some extra practice in. On Saturday they gave back by acting as officials and volunteers at the tournament.

Wrestlers from all three teams will be right back on the mats training this week in preparation for upcoming tournaments. ADSS will compete in Abbotsford on December 7, December 11 will be the first dual meet between Dunn and Neill, and December 14 will be the Cougar Invitational in Duncan. Parents, wrestlers and program supporters interested in finding out more about upcoming wrestling events are encouraged to visit the club’s website