Cowichan Valley grapplers get accolades at Western Canada championships

Athletes from the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club captured two of the top honours at the Western Canadian Age Class Championships.

Athletes from the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club captured two of the top honours at the Western Canadian Age Class Championships in Kamloops last weekend.

Two-time national champion Hannah Tuplin was named the Most Valuable Wrestler in the juvenile girls (Grades 11 and 12) division, and Ashton Combdon received the same award in the schoolboy (Grade 8) division. The awards are voted on by all the coaches at the meet.

Tuplin and Combdon were among 16 CVWC wrestlers at the age group meet, who collected a combined six gold medals, four silvers and one bronze.

“They were competing against some pretty tough wrestlers,” CVWC head coach Nick Zuback said. “I was extremely happy with the effort our kids put in. They represented the club and the Valley extremely well.”

Zuback has a “challenge move” for his wrestlers every week, a difficult move that he encourages them to try, with the reward of a Dairy Queen Blizzard awaiting whoever pulls it off. Tuplin not only executed last week’s challenge move, but she did it twice in one match.

“The first time she did it, she looked right at me to say, ‘I did it,’” the coach recalled.

Tuplin, who competes for Chemainus Secondary, took first place in the juvenile girls 54kg class, with teammate Andrea Morris of Cowichan Secondary right behind her in second.

Combdon, who represents Queen of Angels School, won all three of his matches on his way to first place in the schoolboy 54kg class.

“All year he has been working extremely hard, and it’s always second place, second place for him,” Zuback said. “This shows his hard work is paying off.”

Other first-place results went to Talon Hird of Queen of Angels, who didn’t give up a point as he won the cadet boys 48kg division, and Hayley Bye-Pace, also from Q of A, in the cadet girls 60kg division.

“She had two great throws in both of her matches, and she was able to pin both her opponents,” Zuback said.

A first-year cadet, Bye-Pace is trying to decide it she wants to attend the national championships this season. Zuback thinks the decision is obvious.

“To get gold [at age groups] gives her the seal of approval,” he said.

Stephanie Mould of Cowichan Secondary was second in the cadet girls 57kg, Anthony Anderson of Wellington placed second in the juvenile boys 60kg, and Jaskaran Bains of Q of A finished fourth in the cadet boys 60kg.

The CVWC also cleaned up in the elementary divisions. Carter Zuback and Loryn Roberts finished first in their classes, Cassidy Pace, Charlie Roberts and Caleb Fraser placed second, and Brayden Zuback finished third.

“Carter had a great tournament,” coach Zuback said. “He wrestled really well against boys his age or older.”

Loryn Roberts and Cassidy Pace had to wrestle each other for gold in their class.

“They put on a show in their final,” the proud coach said. “It could have gone either way. It was one of the best elementary matches at the tournament.”

The CVWC will send a massive delegation to the Campbell River Invitational this weekend.