Technical difficulties weren’t going to get in the way of the 2018 Cougar Invitational wrestling meet.
Hosted by the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club with athletes attending from all over Vancouver Island, the meet was all set to go at Frances Kelsey Secondary School on Saturday when Trackwrestling, the service widely used to manage competitions, went down.
“For a tournament director, that’s a bit of a nightmare,” CVWC head coach and tournament director Nick Zuback said. “For a draw master, it’s a real nightmare.”
The backup plan was to do everything the old-fashioned way: writing everything out by hand. It required some last-minute alterations, but it worked out in the end.
“My hat goes off to the draw master team, being able to do all that and finish on time,” Zuback said. “It’s crazy how much we rely on technology for everything.”
About 90 wrestlers from the Cowichan Valley took part in the meet, making up about half of the field, and they achieved spectacular results.
“We had some great, great finishes,” Zuback enthused.
In the senior boys division, two-time defending champion Talon Hird of Cowichan Secondary School weighed in at 51kg, but there were only two athletes in that class, so he wrestled up in the 58-61kg class, and still won gold.
“He wants more matches and more of a challenge,” Zuback explained.
To finish first, Hird had to get past Ashton Combdon, a teammate with both the CVWC and Cowichan Secondary, who came back from an injury to finish second. Another local athlete, Josh Isaac of Frances Kelsey, finished fifth in the same class.
Also in the senior boys division, Dawson Jory of Cow High won the 66-70kg class, Mattias Zachary of Cow High was second at 48kg, and Luther Tidder of Chemainus was second at 112-129kg.
Cowichan Secondary wrestlers also showed well in the senior girls division, where Stephanie Mould won the 60-65kg class in her final Cougar Invitational and Hayley Bye-Pace was first in the 57-60kg class. Cowichan’s Miaya Brownbridge placed third in the same class as Mould, and Quamichan’s Nadja Schwarz finished fourth at 67-70kg. Also in the senior girls division, Emily Reid of Chemainus was second in the heavyweight class.
In the junior girls division, the 51kg class was one of the biggest and toughest, and Queen of Angels wrestlers finished first, second and third, with Loryn Roberts edging out Emma Powell for top spot.
“The final was a supreme battle,” Zuback said. “Loryn was down 7-0 and came back. It was pretty exciting.”
Cassidy Pace was third, and Paige Eckenswiller (Maple Bay) finished fifth.
Also taking gold in their respective classes were Georgia Bond (Q of A) at 54kg and Chloe Foster (Quamichan) in the heavyweight class. Elizabeth Reid (Chemainus) placed second in the heavyweight class, and Nina Lionas (Quamichan) was fourth. Charlotte Aeichele and Abigail Lionas (both Mount Prevost) were second and fourth in the 69kg class, with Stella Closson (Q of A) in third, and Kiara McLeay (Q of A) was third at 43-47kg.
Q of A athletes combined for four gold medals in the junior boys division. Carter Zuback won the 35kg class, with Ross Meiner (also Q of A) in second. Lyle Samson won the 54kg class, with Easton Iverson (Quamichan) in third. Ethan Mellings came from behind to win the 57kg final over a Port Alberni wrestler in what Zuback called “probably the highlight match of the entire tournament,” with Grady Berg (Discovery) placing fourth. And Aidan Dyer-Price won the 63kg class.
“Aidan was a beast,” Zuback said. “His goal was to finish first and he did it.”
That was just the tip of the iceberg for local athletes in the junior boys division. Joaquim Dalton-Periera (Q of A) was second at 48-41kg, Travis Cowan (Bench) was second and Nolan Martin (Prevost) was fourth at 45kg, Darren Doherty (Duncan Christian) was second and Hudson Closson (Q of A) was fourth at 48kg, Connor Gregson (Tansor) was second and Levi Peters (Kelsey) was third at 51kg, Alex Michaluk (Q of A) was second and Jacob Fraser (Cobble Hill) was third at 60kg, Gabe Carreiro (Bench) was third at 66kg, and Aryan Parhar (Q of A) was fourth at 78kg.
Cowichan finished second behind Alberni District in the senior team standings, and Q of A topped both the junior and elementary standings. École Cobble Hill finished second in the elementary rankings, and Prevost was fourth.
Wrestlers from Cowichan Valley schools claimed 10 of the 20 gold medals handed out in the elementary division.
“It’s great to see,” Zuback said. “The kids are working hard, and their hard work is paying off. To win gold at a tournament is a huge accomplishment.”
Elementary girls winners included Fiona Jennings (Q of A) at 23-26kg, Katelyn Doherty (Duncan Christian) at 28-32kg, Sophie Rose (Q of A) at 37-39kg, and Annika Michaluk (Q of A) at 40-44kg). Boys winners included Brayden Zuback (Q of A) at 27-30kg, Owen Powell (Q of A) at 30-32kg, Brody Brennan-McCann (Q of A) at 32-33kg, Jacob Meiner (Maple Bay) at 35kg, Antonio Iannidinardo (Cobble Hill) at 38-41kg, and Dylan Acton (Q of A) at 49-52kg.
See below for full elementary results.
A grant from the Cowichan Valley Regional District, which coach Zuback said the CVWC was “very thankful and fortunate to have” helped pay for medals and plaques for participants at the meet.
“It just brings that extra touch,” he said. “The kids get excited to get medals.”
Next up for the club’s Grade 8-12 wrestlers is the War on the Floor at Pinetree Secondary in Coquitlam this coming weekend, the first test of the season against competition from the Mainland and Interior.
The club will also host the a wrestling camp on Jan. 2 and 3 at Queen of Angels School. For more information, email Zuback at email@example.com
Full elementary results:
Elementary girls 23-26kg
1. Fiona Jennings (Q of A)
2. Jordyn George of (Ind.)
3. Trinity Horne (Q of A)
Elementary girls 28-32kg
1. Katelyn Doherty (Duncan Christian)
2. Abigail Huck (Q of A)
3. Ayla Pilon (Q of A)
Elementary girls 33-36kg
1. Kolbie Rosse (Willow Point)
2. Beatrix Klatt (Cobble Hill)
3. Ruby Degraff (Q of A)
4. Jordana Crawford (Q of A)
Elementary girls 37-39kg
1. Sophie Rose (Q of A)
2. Indira Klatt (Cobble Hill)
3. Sadona Bond (Q of A)
4. Lucy Heugh (Q of A)
Elementary girls 40-44kg
1. Annika Michaluk (Q of A)
2. Janna Hiltz (Ind.)
3. Tyawna Kerridge (Q of A)
Elementary girls 45-49kg
1. Ellie Pye (Happy Valley)
2. Julia Doehler (George Bonner)
3. Fayth Pontious (Ocean Grove)
4. Brooklyn Gray (Q of A)
Elementary boys 20-23kg
1. Thomas Brooks (Willow Point)
2. Aidan McCallum (Mount Prevost)
3. Edison Jennings (Q of A)
Elementary boys 25-26kg
1. Momo Parzanishi (Ind.)
2. Kian Shelley (Queen Margaret’s)
3. Nolan Cross of (Ind.)
4. Addison Bruce (Pauline Hare)
Elementary boys 27-30kg
1. Brayden Zuback (Q of A)
2. Mason Martin (Mount Prevost)
3. Micheal McCallum (Khowhemun)
4. Brayden Whyte (Bench)
Elementary boys 30-32kg
1. Owen Powell (Q of A)
2. Chance Swann (Ind.)
3. Jack Hunton (Bench)
4. Griffen Morse (Qualicum Beach)
Elementary boys 32-33kg
1. Brody Brennan-McCann (Q of A)
2. Reece Eckenswiller (Maple Bay)
3. Ronan McGeachy (Mount Prevost)
4. Paul Clark (Alex Aitken)
Elementary boys 33-35kg
1. Elijah Palov (Monterey)
2. Lucas Daniels (Q of A)
3. Lincoln Hunton (Bench)
4. Ryan Gronlund (Q of A)
Elementary boys 35kg
1. Jacob Meiner (Q of A)
2. Tristen Beaudry (Aspengrove)
3. Michael Samuel (Southgate)
4. Owen Philipow (Penfield)
Elementary boys 36-37kg
1. Torin Brooks (Willow Point)
2. Tristan De Cunha (Mount Prevost)
3. Keaton Woods (Maple Bay)
4. Jamie Calanan (Southgate)
Elementary boys 38-41kg
1. Antonio Iannidinardo (Cobble Hill)
2. Nathan Purslow (Bench)
3. Robert Campbell (Georgia Park)
4. Carter Pace (Q of A)
5. Caelan Smith-Richards (Q of A)
Elementary boys 42-45kg
1. Alex Jackson (Southgate)
2. Lucas Laver (Ladysmith Int.)
3. Manny Iannidinardo (Cobble Hill)
Elementary boys 47kg
1. Sylas Thompson (Phoenix)
2. Isaac Giles (Q of A)
3. Kaden Thompson (Ind.)
Elementary boys 48-49kg
1. Draydon Antypovich (Southgate)
2. Alex Bielert (Ind.)
3. Daniel Sampson (Q of A)
Elementary boys 49-52kg
1. Dylan Acton (Q of A)
2. Farren Aeichele (Mount Prevost)
3. Noah Dash (Chemainus)
1. Kenny Sevinski (Ray Watkins)
2. Deyton Mersh (Bench)