Talon Hird came home from the War on the Floor with a gold medal, and several of his Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club teammates nearly matched that feat.
The CVWC took six elite wrestlers and 10 novices to the high-profile meet in Burnaby, which will help set up seeding for provincials in the spring, and head coach Nick Zuback was pleased with the results.
Already a two-time provincial champion, Hird finished atop the male 51kg class. The Cowichan Secondary School wrestler gave up only two points over the course of the tournament, winning all of his matches by at least 10 points, none going longer than two minutes.
“Obviously, Talon wrestled extremely well,” Zuback said. “He’s our team captain, and he led by example, very easily capturing gold.”
Another Cowichan Secondary athlete, Stephanie Mould, placed second in the female 64kg division, while her teammate Miaya Brownbridge was fifth in the same class. Mould was up by eight points in the final, only to lose on a pin.
“She made one error, and it cost her the gold,” Zuback said of Mould. “It was a great experience though. It’s those things that you take back to the practice room and work through to prepare for the big show later on.”
Hayley Bye-Pace from Queen of Angels also had a narrow loss in the female 60kg class.
“That was probably the best I’ve seen her wrestle, maybe in her career,” Zuback said.
Steven Guo of Dover Bay was second in the male 48kg class, and scored points in the final on a tough wrestler from Surrey.
“That’s a kid he will probably see at provincials,” Zuback noted. “He’s got to work on a few things. Steven’s going to have to work hard to fine ways to beat this kid.”
Dylan Battye of Q of A took fourth place in the same division.
“Dylan wrestled really well. For a Grade 8 to finish fourth at the elite level, it’s great to see that.”
The elite classes wrestled on the second day of War on the Floor, following a day of novice competition. Novice results included first-place finishes for Charlie Roberts (Q of A), Dylan Battye (Q of A) and Rosie Klatt-LeBlanc (Chemainus Secondary); second-place finishes for Caleb Fraser (Frances Kelsey) and Aiden Dyer-Price (Q of A); thirds for Laura Nguyen, Dawson Jory and Chloe Atchison (all from Cowichan Secondary); a fourth for Caleb Battye (Q of A); and a fifth for Damien Blaney (Cowichan Secondary).
Wrestlers who placed in the top four in novice competition were allowed to enter the elite classes as well, which led to some more impressive results for Cowichan athletes. Roberts finished second in the female 40-43kg class, and Klatt-LeBlanc was second in the female 90kg. Atkinson finished third in the female 90kg class, and Jory placed fifth in the male 66kg division.
The CVWC will start the New Year by hosting a camp on Jan. 4 and 5, with clinicians from across Vancouver Island and the Mainland. Athletes ages 9-18 of all abilities are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Zuback at firstname.lastname@example.org