Founder’s Hall at Queen Margaret’s School was the site of the Vancouver Island Wrestling Championships on Saturday Feb. 11.
With more than 100 athletes representing 25 school from across Vancouver Island all attempting to qualify for the B.C. High School Provincial Championships later in the month, it was a sight to behold in the old building.
“The atmosphere inside the gym at QMS was electrifying with over 200 spectators cheering the wrestlers on,” said QMS coach Nick Zuback. “To qualify, boys would need to place in the top five and the girls top six.”
A large contingent of 35 wrestlers from Cowichan Valley schools proved once again that Cowichan is a force to be reckoned with in the wrestling world.
In total, nine wrestlers from the valley won gold eclipsing the last record of eight.
Capturing gold were Carter Zuback (QMS) in the 54kg boys division, Leon Tsuboi (QMS) in the 45kg boys division, Mason Martin (Quamichan) in the 41kg boys division, Elijah Cote (NCS) in the 48kg boys division, Ronaldo Carreiro (Kelsey) in the 51kg boys division, Ross Meiner (Cowichan) in the 63kg boys division, Antonio Iannidinardo (Kelsey) in the 70kg boys division, Loryn Roberts (QMS) in the 64kg girls division, and Rei Nagatomi (Kelsey) in the 69kg girls division.
Silver medal winners were Nicholas Wade (Cowichan) in the 70kg boys division, Rory Brennan-McCann (Shawnigan Lake) in the 74kg boys division, Gabriel Carreiro (Kelsey) in the 110kg boys division, Rose Wu (QMS) in the 51kg girls division, Ripley Fox (QMS) in the 57kg girls division, Georgia Bond (QMS) in the 60kg girls division, and Cassidy Pace (Kelsey) in the 69kg girls division.
Third place finishers were, Matin Taghi (QMS) in the 57kg boys division, Jacob Meiner (QMS) in the 66kg boys division, Jake Armstrong (QMS) in the 78kg boys division, Jordanna Crawford-Starter (Kelsey) in the 47kg girls division, Rui Wang (QMS) in the 60kg girls division, and Sedona Bond (QMS) in the 64kg girls division.
Finishing 4th overall were Brody Wade (Quamichan) in the 66kg boys division, Savanna Screaton (QMS) in the 54kg girls division, Beatrix Klatt (Quamichan) in the 64kg girls division, and Emma Greenwood (QMS) in the 69kg girls division.
Barbara Romero and Georgia Armstrong (both QMS) earned a provincial berth by placing fifth in their divisions, as did Jordan He (QMS) who came sixth.
Grant Parmar (QMS) also took sixth but finished just shy of a provincial berth.
QMS took first for the overall girls team title, fifth in the boys and first for the boys/girls combined title.
Kelsey finished fourth in the boys, girls, and combined.
Cowichan placed sixth in the boys and 10th in the combined.
Quamichan placed ninth in the girls, 12th in the boys and 11th overall. Rei Nagatomi (Kelsey) was awarded the most valuable female wrestler award while Ryan Yewchin from the Cowichan Valley was awarded the Ed Ashmore Volunteer of the Year Award for all his service in coaching this year.
“A huge thank you goes out to the CVRD for being an official sponsor of the event,” Zuback said.
The B.C. High School Wrestling Championships run Feb. 23-25 at the PNE in Vancouver.