Press Release - Western Canadian Age Class

Post date: Jan 18, 2011 5:26:45 AM

Local Wrestlers Shine at Age Class in Kamloops

A large contingent of local wrestlers were competing this past weekend at the Western Canadian Age Class Tournament in Kamloops and they did not fail to shine. Twenty-four Alberni wrestlers placed and twelve of them medaled at the prestigious Western Canada Age Class event which featured over 800 wrestlers from close to 100 schools from all over Western Canada.

The Alberni group were led by five wrestlers who went undefeated to claim gold medals in their respective weight classes. In the Schoolboy division for ages 12 – 14 EJ Dunn wrestler Nolan Badovinac went undefeated in the 75 kilogram division. In the Cadet division for athletes ages 15-16 ADSS wrestlers Rhea Wing (43 kg), Jesse Wagner (46 kg), and Cole Walton (85 kg) won their respective weight classes with strong performances. Grade 11 wrestler Cullen Hines went undefeated to claim the title at 72 kilograms in the Juvenile (17 – 18 years old).

ADSS head coach John McDonald was pleased with the performance of the team in Kamloops. “Our wrestlers did well. This was a high level tournament and we had some good results. I was really pleased with how some of our wrestlers battled through adversity this weekend. Three of our senior wrestlers, due to injury, were physically not one hundred percent. However they focused on the task at hand and were able to perform. All three of them ended up placing. This shows the character and the mental toughness that we will need to be successful down the stretch. There are no guarantees that you are going to be feeling perfect come Provincials and Nationals. Mentally you need to push through it. It is difficult to simulate that in practice. That is why this tournament is so important to our preparation.”

Several local wrestlers claimed silver medals dropping only one match in their respective weight classes. In the Schoolboy/Schoolgirl division EJ Dunn wrestlers Dean Leyland (60 kg), Emma Vanderlee (66 kg), and Tyler Drew-Adams (85 kg) finished second in their respective weight classes. In the Cadet division Jordan Wagner (50 kg) lost a close final to finish second in his weight class. Grade 12 wrestler Brianne Charles lost a heart breaking final match to her opponent from Smithers to finish with the silver medal in the 65 kilogram Juvenile Girls Division.

Rounding out the medal count were Russell David of Dunn (51kg) and Micaela Dick (54 kg) who claimed bronze medals in their weight classes in the Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Division.

Other local wrestlers to place in the top six of their weight classes were Chris Kurucz of Neill (4th at HWT), Remi Wells of Dunn (4th at 45 kg), Kennedy O’Donovan of Dunn (4th at 48 kg), Michel Kurucz of Dunn (4th at 59 kg), Austin Evans of ADSS (4th at 58 kg), Austin Jaworski of ADSS (4th at 69 kg), Johannes Kulich of Neill (5th at 66 kg), Jacob Arcus of Neill (6th at 60 kg), Ben Salitter of Neill (6th at 66 kg), Lauren Barker of Dunn (6th at 43 kg), Brittney Battie of Dunn (6th at 48 kg), and Sheldon Haddad of ADSS (6th at 58 kg). Unfortunately team results were not available at the time of publication.

According to Alberni Wrestling coach James Messenger Age Class is an excellent tune up for the busy few months ahead. “We always want to take a large group to the Age Class,” said Messenger, “it provides us with an opportunity for great competition and it is also a great team builder. Road trips like this with several days away on the bus, in the hotel, and around the gym give our team an opportunity to do some team building. We have a great group of kids here and they were excellent ambassadors for our sport and city.”

The busy weeks ahead include 4 practices per week, tournaments in Abbotsford and Campbell River and then the Annual Alberni Invitational tournament at the Multiplex February 3-5. The season will continue with the Island Championships in Port Hardy February 11-12 and the BC High School Championships in Abbotsford February 24 – 26. The season wraps up for some of the top wrestlers at the National Championships April 6 – 11 in Windsor Ontario.