Wrestlers from Cowichan Secondary School made a statement at the 2020 Western Canada Age Class meet in Abbotsford last weekend.
Cow High finished second in the team standings for both boys and girls, and would have won the aggregate title if the tournament had one.
Such an award does exist at the provincial championships, and Cowichan will be a surefire contender at that event in Langley next month.
“Come provincials, they’ll be in the running for the aggregate title,” Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club head coach Nick Zuback said. “That’s something the school has never done before. It would be great for the kids, especially the Grade 12s.”
Cow High Grade 12s Hayley Bye-Pace and Miaya Brownbridge won the juvenile female 64kg and 60kg divisions, respectively. This was Bye-Pace’s first tournament back after missing time due to illness and injury.
“She’s in Grade 12, and she really wants to do well at provincials,” Zuback said. “She did well at this tournament, which will get her seeding points.”
Brownbridge is in the same boat.
“She’s been plugging away this year and she had a great result,” the coach commented. “She’s probably looking at a No. 1 or No. 2 seed for her weight class [at provincials].”
Nadja Schwarz, also from Cow High, finished second in the juvenile female 69kg class.
Cowichan Secondary also claimed two gold medals in the juvenile male division, as Talon Hird and Dawson Jory won the 57kg and 74kg classes, respectively. Other Cow High wrestlers to place included Mattias Zachary, who was second at 51kg, Dylan Battye, who was second at 60kg, and Ashton Combdon, who was fifth at 63kg.
Jory picked up his opponent in the final and threw him out of the circle, while Battye gave the defending provincial champ a solid challenge.
“He scored points on the provincial champion in the final,” Zuback said of Battye. “That gives you the mentality, ‘if I can score points, I can win.’”
Hird also won gold against university wrestlers in the Cascades Classic hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, taking top spot in the 54kg class.
“A high school kid winning a university tournament is great to see,” Zuback said.
Combdon took bronze in the 61kg class, and Jory was fourth at 72kg. According to the Cowichan coach, all Canada West university teams were at the Cascades Classic, along with Simon Fraser University.
All of the Cowichan athletes wrestled to expectations or better, Zuback said.
“A couple of them had tougher matches that maybe kept them from having better results,” he observed. “But they persevered and came back. They all did a good job.”
The Cowichan wrestlers will head to the Alberni Invitational this weekend for their last big test before the Island championships.
Other Cowichan placings:
School Age Boys
41kg: Ross Meiner (Alex Aitken) — second
66kg: Grady Berg (Queen of Angels) — third
School Age Girls
75kg: Emma Greenwood (Crofton El.) — first
41kg: Carter Zuback (Q of A) — third
45kg: Joaquin Pereira (Q of A) — third
51kg: Charlie Roberts (Queen Margaret’s School) — third
54kg: Cassidy Pace (Q of A) — third
57kg: Loryn Roberts (Q of A) — third
64kg: Georgia Bond (Q of A) — second
75kg: Charlotte Aeichele (Quamichan) — third
90kg: Jessica Nakahara (Ladysmith Sec.) — third
60kg: Josh Isaac (Frances Kelsey) — fourth
75kg: Chloe Foster (Kelsey) — second
Emma Greenwood (Crofton) — first
Beth Quinn (Q of A) — second
Brady Zuback (Q of A) — second
Giles Dalton-Pereira (Q of A) — second
Sedona Bond (Q of A) — third
Ruby DeGraf (Q of A) — fourth