Cowichan wrestlers battle to team gold at Summer Games

BC Summer Games gold medallist Loryn Roberts. (Submitted by Nick Zuback)BC Summer Games gold medallist Loryn Roberts. (Submitted by Nick Zuback)
The 2022 BC Summer Games gold-medal Zone 6 wrestling team. (Submitted by Nick Zuback)The 2022 BC Summer Games gold-medal Zone 6 wrestling team. (Submitted by Nick Zuback)

Nine wrestlers from the Cowichan Valley helped Zone 6 (Vancouver Island-Central Coast) to team gold at the 2022 BC Summer Games in Prince George last month, and four of them also brought home individual medals for good measure.

Loryn Roberts won gold in the 64kg girls division, Carter Zuback and Georgia Bond took silver in the 54kg boys and 60kg girls divisions, respectively, and Darren Doherty wrestled to bronze in the 74kg boys division. Along with Emma Greenwood, Ross Meiner, Brodie and Nicholas Wade, and Antonio Iannidinardo, they also won gold in the team dual meet competition.

Wrestling at the Summer Games kicked off with the dual meet competition on the first day, with zone teams going head-to-head through three rounds.

As defending champions from the 2018 Games in the Cowichan Valley, Zone 6 got a bye through the quarter-finals, but had to face the tough Zone 4 (Fraser River) team in the semis. The teams were tied after all their wrestlers had gone to the mat, so they went to criteria points to determine a winner. The officials initially awarded the victory to Zone 4, but Zone 6 head coach Nick Zuback (also the head coach of the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club) did some quick math and realized that his team had more pins — the first tiebreaker — than the officials had given them credit for. The officials corrected their mistake, sending Zone 6 to the final, where they defeated Zone 3 (Fraser Valley) 59-47.

“It was exciting to be part of,” Zuback said of the big win by his young team.

Roberts hit a new career peak as she claimed gold in the individual competition.

“She wrestled better than I’ve ever seen her wrestle,” Zuback said.

Carter Zuback wasn’t satisfied with silver and immediately wanted to know how he could have done better.

“He wanted to see the tape,” the coach said. “He wanted to know where he made mistakes; he wanted to improve. I was really happy he was able to have that attitude.”

Bond improved constantly throughout the BC Summer Games.

“Every match, she got better and better,” Zuback said. “I was happy with her results; she represented the Island really well.”

Doherty competed hard in one of the toughest weight classes.

“He’s always in matches, which is great to see,” Zuback commented. “After his loss, he battled back and took the bronze medal.”

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