The Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club sent 14 athletes to Vancouver this past weekend to battle the best wrestlers from across the country over the three days of competition at the U15-19 National Freestyle and Greco Wrestling Championships.
On the first day, three Cowichan wrestlers made it to the national podium. Finishing first in the U17 boys 71kg class was Antonio Iannidinardo.
“Antonio was extremely focused during all of his matches and to get to the finals he had beat a wrestler that has had his number all year,” said coach Nick Zuback. “It was great to see him repeat from last year and for all his hard work to pay off.”
Jordanna Crawford-Starter took second in the U15 girls 46kg class.
“Jordanna is a work horse and has improved so much this season,” Zuback said. “She will be definitely one to watch for the next few years.”
Also making the podium was Beatrix Klatt. She won silver in the U15 66kg class.
“Although it was Beatrix’s first nationals and wrestling on the big stage, she definitely proved that she belonged amongst the best in the country,” Zuback said.
Day 2 featured three more medalists for the CVWC.
Unya Hollmayer finishing on top of the podium in the U19 girls 46kg class.
“Unya was extremely disciplined in all of her matches and displayed tremendous heart and determination in her final against a very tough Albertan wrestler,” Zuback said
Taking a silver medal in the U19 girls 65kg class was Loryn Roberts.
“Loryn fought her way through some really tough competition to make it to the finals but came up a little short against a very tough girl from Saskatchewan,” Zuback noted.
Brayden Zuback captured bronze in the U15 38kg boys class.
“It was his first time competing at the national level and it was exciting to see his grittiness and athleticism in every match,” coach Zuback said.
The final day of competition was designated to Greco-Roman wrestling for all of the different age divisions.
“In Greco-Roman wrestling, wrestlers are not allowed to touch or use their legs to execute moves and take down their opponents,” Zuback explained.
Five CVWC wrestlers medalled in their respective categories. Capturing gold were Hollmayer and Brayden Zuback.
“Unya showed tremendous focus, dominating her opponent to capture her second gold medal of the weekend,” Zuback said. “Brayden battled back from being behind in two of his matches to capture wins to lead him to the finals,” added the coach. “In his final match, he used his signature shoulder throw which got the crowd off their feet and his hand raised.”
Crawford-Starter won a second silver medal in her weight class while bronze medals were secured by Iannidinardo and Carter Zuback in their groupings as well.
“It was great to see Carter finish the tournament on a winning note, he definitely rose to the challenge of wrestling up a weight class,” said coach Zuback. “And Antonio battled very hard after a tough semi-final match loss to capture his second medal of the weekend. It is amazing to see how well he is able to process a tough match, persevere, and move forward.”
Placing out of the top three but wrestling extremely well in their weight classes were Ben Cote, who was fifth in freestyle and fourth in Greco; Mason Martin, who was fourth in both freestyle and Greco; Ronaldo Carreiro, who took fifth place in freestyle; Ripley Fox, who came fourth in Greco; Emma Greenwood who was fifth in freestyle; and Elijah Cote, who ended up sixth in freestyle and fourth in Greco.
Also from the Cowichan Valley with great results was Cassidy Pace taking second place in freestyle and Greco. Sedona Bond, too, wrestled very well until re-injuring her shoulder.
Next up is the Western Canada Wrestling Club Championships April 22-23 at Queen Margaret’s School showcasing wrestling from elementary all the way up to adult levels with wrestlers coming from across western Canada.