The Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club took 21 athletes to the Island Novice in Courtenay last weekend. (Raylene Pace photo)

The Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club took 21 athletes to the Island Novice in Courtenay last weekend. (Raylene Pace photo)

CVWC glimpses bright future

Young wrestlers in the spotlight at Island Novice

The future is looking bright for the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club after a strong showing at the Island Novice meet last weekend.

The club took 21 wrestlers to the meet in Courtenay, with impressive results across the board. Competitors at the Island Novice tend to be on the younger side, as they cannot have placed in any past provincial or Island championships.

“When you see the team results, these are all our young wrestlers, so the next few years will be really great for us,” CVWC head coach Nick Zuback said. “For us to dominate the placings —- really good for what the future holds.”

Queen of Angels School finished first in the female team standings, with École Cobble Hill in third, Crofton Elementary in sixth and Quamichan School in ninth. Frances Kelsey Secondary was second in the senior male division, and Quamichan ranked seventh. Q of A also finished third in the junior male division, with Cobble Hill in fifth, Kelsey sixth, Alex Aitken seventh, and Tansor ninth.

Cobble Hill’s Indira Klatt was among the local highlights as she placed first in the female 49-51kg division.

“She was down in one match against a tough girl from Campbell River, but she ended up pinning her,” Zuback said. “She battled adversity and overcame it and captured gold.”

Carter Zuback (Q of A) didn’t give up a point as he went undefeated to win the junior male 38-41kg class. His matches included a win by tech over Port Alberni’s Nickolas Cross, the son of Canadian Olympian Travis Cross. Carter’s younger brother Brayden Zuback won the junior male 27-32kg class, then won exhibition matches against the top three finishers in the next weight class.

Cassidy Pace (Q of A) surged to the top in the female 52-55kg division.

“She’s really starting to come together,” coach Zuback said. “This is her third or fourth year, and we have really high hopes for her. She’s in Grade 6 right now, but she’s wrestling above her age level. She won all her matches handily.”

Other strong showings came from Grady Berg (Q of A) and Gabe Carreiro (Kelsey), who won the junior male 62-66kg and 77-82kg classes, respectively.

“We’ve really seen improvements for both of them,” Zuback said. “In one year of growth, it’s phenomenal to see that. Hopefully it will continue.”

Other results from the Island Novice:

Female 34-38kg: Ruby De Graff (Q of A) – second

Female 42-44kg: Sophie Rose (Q of A) – first; Beatrix Klatt (Cobble Hill) second

Female 49-51kg: Sedona Bond Q of A) – third

Female 58-63kg: Loryn Roberts (Q of A) – first; Georgia Bond (Q of A) third

Female 71kg: Emma Greenwood (Crofton) – first; Charlotte Aeichele (Quam) – second

Junior male 35-38kg: Tyrell Currie (Tansor) – fifth

Junior male 38-41kg: Brodie Wade (Cobble Hill) – third; Nathan Cyr (Aitken) – fourth

Junior male 44-47g: Antonio Iannidinardo (Cobble Hill) – third

Junior male 58-61kg: Farren Aeichele (Tansor) – third

Senior male 52-5kg: Conner Gregson (Quam) – first

Senior male 59-61kg: Josh Isaac (Kelsey) – first

The Island Novice moves around from year to year, but Cowichan is unlikely to host, as their own meet always takes place the following week. The Cougar Invitational will run this Saturday at Frances Kelsey Secondary, with matches from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The club is expecting more than 200 wrestlers, including about 90 from the Cowichan Valley.

“To have almost half of what the total registration might be is remarkable,” Zuback said.