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Wrestling breakthroughs as CVWC prepares for Islands and provincials

14 golds for Cowichan wrestlers at Alberni Invitational
Frances Kelsey’s Josh Isaac takes down his opponent from Maple Ridge in the juvenile boys 60kg final at the Alberni Invitational last week. (Raylene Pace photo)

The biggest win of Josh Isaac’s wrestling career was a major highlight for the Cowichan Wrestling Club at the Alberni Invitational last weekend, the last meet prior to the Island championships.

The Grade 12 student at Frances Kelsey Secondary finished first in the juvenile boys 60kg class, a good sign that he’s ready to do some damage at the Island and provincial meets.

“He’s always around the top six,” CVWC head coach Nick Zuback pointed out. “But he’s never gotten a big first. I’d say this was a big first for him. For him to be peaking now, that’s great to see. He had a really good match in his final against a Maple Ridge kid. That was a great result for him.”

The Cowichan club took nearly 40 wrestlers to Port Alberni for the meet, which attracted more than 350 competitors overall, and brought home 14 gold medals, 10 silver and two bronze, along with several fourth- and fifth-place finishes.

Some of the usual suspects dominated their classes, including Cowichan Secondary’s Talon Hird in the juvenile boys 57kg and Hayley Bye-Pace in the juvenile girls 64kg.

Conor Gregson of Quamichan made a breakthrough to win the cadet boys 54kg class, and Rory Brennan-McCann of Shawnigan Lake School won for the second meet in a row, taking first in the school age boys 49kg.

“Hopefully he’ll qualify this weekend at Islands and go on to represent his school at provincials,” Zuback said.

Queen of Angels Grade 4 wrestler Brady Zuback was the youngest in the competition, but still won the school age boys 35kg class typically for Grades 6-8, beating a Grade 8 athlete in the final. Cowichan Secondary Grade 10 Nadja Schwarz, who usually competes up in juvenile, wrestled in the cadet age group this time to build up her confidence going into Islands and provincials, and dominated the 69kg weight class.

Another Q of A wrestler, Joaquim Dalton-Pereira, beat the top-ranked wrestler from Alberni to win his weight class, and Zuback expects them to meet again.

“That will probably be the final for the 45kg boys this weekend,” the coach said. “Joaquim out-muscled him, out-wrestled him and outclassed him.”

The CVWC is taking 22 wrestlers to Islands at Dover Bay in Nanaimo this weekend, and Zuback hopes to qualify all of them for provincials.

Full Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club results

School Age Boys

30-35kg: first - Brayden Zuback (Q of A)

38-39kg: first - Carter Zuback (Q of A), second - Nathan Cyr (Alex Aitken)

40-41kg: second - Ross Meiner (Alex Aitken)

42-43kg: first - Cameron Healey (Chemainus Sec.), second - Brodie Wade (Cobble Hill)

47-49kg: first - Rory Brennan-McCann (Shawnigan)

48-51kg: second - Antonio Iannidinardo (Cobble Hill)

55-57kg: second - Darren Doherty (Duncan Christian)

64-66kg: first - Grady Berg (Q of A)

78-82kg: second - Gabriel Carreiro (Kelsey)

School Age Girls

27-30kg: first - Beth Quinn (Q of A)

35-38kg: third - Ruby De Graff (Q of A)

41-42kg: first - Beatrix Klatt (Cobble Hill)

46-49kg: second - Indira Klatt (Cobble Hill)

50-51kg: fourth - Sedona Bond (Q of A)

53-55kg: second - Cassidy Pace (Q of A)

69-72kg: second - Charlotte Aeichele (Quamichan)

Cadet Boys

45kg: first - Joaquim Dalton-Pereira (Q of A)

54kg: first - Connor Gregson (Quamichan)

60kg: second - Dylan Battye (Cowichan Sec.)

Cadet Girls

57kg: third - Loryn Roberts (Q of A)

64kg: fourth - Georgia Bond (Q of A)

69kg: first - Nadja Schwarz (Cowichan Sec.)

Juvenile Boys

51kg: first - Mattias Zachary (Cowichan Sec.)

57kg: first - Talon Hird (Cowichan Sec.)

60kg: first - Josh Isaac (Kelsey)

63kg: fifth - Ashton Combdon (Cowichan Sec.)

Juvenile Girls

54kg: fourth - Charlie Roberts (Queen Margaret’s School)

60kg: second - Miaya Brownbridge (Cowichan Sec.)

64kg: first - Hayley Bye-Pace (Cowichan Sec.)

75kg: second - Chloe Foster (Kelsey)