Q of A’s Georgia Bond, right, takes on Vanier’s Jasmine Mohtadi. (Don Bodger/Black Press)

CVWC and Q of A wrestlers on top at Cougar Invitational meet

Host club has 28 first-place finishes

More than a third of the 214 wrestlers who competed at the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club’s Cougar Invitational meet last Saturday were representing local schools, the largest such contingent to date.

The field included 63 athletes from the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club, and another 30 from the Queen of Angels School team, the most ever from the area.

“We had close to 100 from the Cowichan Valley,” CVWC head coach Nick Zuback said. “That was pretty exciting to see.”

Those wrestlers combined for 28 first-place finishes, 32 seconds, 20 thirds, 12 fourths and one fifth, while local schools also dominated the team standings. Q of A topped the elementary division with 79 points, nearly twice as many as second-place Alberni, with Bench in third, Maple Bay in fourth and Duncan Christian in fifth. Q of A also won the junior division (Grades 7-9) with 101 points to Alberni District Secondary’s 74, while Cowichan Secondary finished third with 45. Cow High also placed second in the senior division (Grades 10-12).

Q of A had multiple pairs of siblings both take home gold medals, including Valentina Simon in the elementary girls 26-28kg and Zach Simon in the junior boys 35-38kg.

“They both wrestled amazing,” Zuback said. “They had great, close matches. They were definitely well-deserving of first place. It’s cool that siblings did that.”

Zuback’s sons also both claimed gold, Brayden in the primary 23-27kg and Carter in the elementary boys 30-31kg, sisters Loryn and Charlie Roberts also won gold in the elementary girls 41-45kg and junior girls 39-40kg.

Other highlights among the local contingent included:

Sophie Rose of Q of A, gold in the elementary girls 32-33kg

“She’s definitely one to watch,” Zuback said of the Grade 4 student, who is new to the sport this year. “Coach [Eric] Anderson is already thinking she could be the next Hannah Tuplin. She’s a hard worker, she’s gritty, and she’s got the drive to be successful.”

Antonio Iannidinardo of Cobble Hill, gold in the elementary boys 34-47kg

“He was in a very tough weight class as well,” Zuback said. “He’s a hard worker and it paid off.”

Darren Doherty of DCS, gold in the elementary boys 39-40kg

“He beat some tough kids in a big class,” Zuback said. “He’s well-deserving of recognition.”

Nadja Schwarz of Cowichan Secondary, gold in the junior girls 58-63kg

“She’s turning out to be one to watch this year and moving forward.”

Ethan Mellings of Q of A, gold in the junior boys 46-48kg

“He’s following in the footsteps of his sister [former CVWC wrestler and international competitor Maegan Kuruvita]. It’s great to see that success happening.”

Zach Little of Cowichan Secondary, gold in the junior boys 51-52kg

“He got gold in one of the best matches I got to watch and coach. He went past his limit, then ended up winning the match with just seconds to go.”

Dawson Jory of Cowichan Secondary, gold in the junior boys 61-65kg

“He’s new this year, and he’s turning out to be a pretty phenomenal wrestler.”

The CVWC also had plenty of success in the senior ranks, led by Talon Hird of Cowichan Secondary, who took gold in the senior boys 52-57kg.

“He’s our team captain, and he doesn’t miss a beat,” Zuback said. “He was wrestling up [a weight class], but that doesn’t stop him. He’s just a beast.”

Chemainus’s Hannah Tuplin won the senior girls’ 52-57kg class, and Cowichan Secondary’s Stephanie Mould also claimed gold as her school took the top three spots in the senior girls 60-65kg, with Hayley Bye-Pace in second and Miaya Brownbridge in third.

About 20 wrestlers from the CVWC will be in action again this weekend as they travel to Burnaby for the War on the Floor, one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

Full local results from the Cougar Invitational (top-five finishes):

Primary 23-27kg

First: Brayden Zuback (Q of A)

Second: Mason Martin (Mount Prevost)

Third: Paul Clark (Alex Aitken)

Primary 28-30kg

First: Reece Eckenswiller (Maple Bay)

Second: Ronan McGeachy (Mount Prevost)

Third: Brody Brennan-McCann (Q of A)

Fourth: Eben Hayward (Q of A)

Primary 31-32kg

First: Keaton Woods (Maple Bay)

Second: Carter Pace (Q of A)

Elementary girls 26-28kg

First: Valentina Simon (Q of A)

Second: Kateyln Doherty (DCS)

Third: Jolene Sampson (Q of A)

Elementary girls 29-32kg

Third: Kiana Woods (Maple Bay)

Elementary girls 32-33kg

First: Sophie Rose (Q of A)

Second: Sedona Bond (Q of A)

Elementary girls 36-40kg

First: AvaLing David (Q of A)

Second: Lauren Baker (Bench)

Third: Annika Michaluk (Q of A)

Fourth: Kyndal Moses (Q of A)

Elementary girls 41-45kg

First: Loryn Roberts (Q of A)

Second: Cassidy Pace (Q of A)

Elementary girls 49-51kg

Second: Emily Fetchko (Q of A)

Elementary girls 54-57kg

First: Paige Eckenswiller (Maple Bay)

Second: Bronwynn Lee (Q of A)

Third: Lily Clarke (Q of A)

Elementary boys 30-31kg

First: Carter Zuback (Q of A)

Fourth: Sam Garbrandt (Alex Aitken)

Elementary boys 32-34kg

Third: Ross Meiner (Alex Aitken)

Elementary boys 34-37kg

First: Antonio Lannidinardo (Cobble Hill)

Second: Jacob Meiner (Alex Aitken)

Third: Tristan De Cunha (Mount Prevost)

Elementary boys 37-38kg

Second: Cameron Healey (Bench)

Third: Nolan Martin (Mount Prevost)

Fourth: Gabe Garbrandt (Alex Aitken)

Elementary boys 39-40kg

First: Darren Doherty (DCS)

Second: Travis Cowan (Bench)

Fourth: Isaac Giles (Q of A)

Fifth: Farran Aeichele (Mount Prevost)

Elementary boys 43kg

Second: Colby Annandale (Q of A)

Elementary boys 43-47kg

Second: Jordan Busciano (Drinkwater)

Third: Dylan Acton (Q of A)

Elementary boys 48-52kg

Second: Brennan Cerrer (Drinkwater)

Third: Blake Bear (Alex Aitken)

Elementary boys 53-58kg

First: Jacob Fraser (Cobble Hill)

Third: Griffin Mckenzie (Drinkwater)

Elementary boys 70-74kg

Second: Aryan Parhar (Q of A)

Junior girls 39-40kg

First: Charlie Roberts (Q of A)

Junior girls 43-45kg

Third Georgia Bond (Q of A)

Junior girls 45-50kg

Second: Laura Nguyen (Cowichan Secondary)

Fourth: Josephine Joseph (Q of A)

Junior girls 58-63kg

First: Nadja Schwarz (Cowichan Secondary)

Second: Chloe Siddals (Chemainus Secondary)

Third: Ella Duncan-Reda (Q of A)

Fourth: Stella Closson (Q of A)

Junior girls 68-73kg

First: Chloe Foster (Cowichan Secondary)

Junior girls 76-82kg

First: Rosie Klatt-Leblanc (Chemainus Secondary)

Third: Alexis Joe (Q of A)

Junior girls 84-88kg

First: Chloe Atkinson (Cowichan Secondary)

Second: Elizabeth Reid (Chemainus Elementary)

Junior boys 30-32kg

First: Joaquim Dalton-Periera (Q of A)

Second: Noah Bird (Q of A)

Junior boys 35-38kg

First: Zachary Simon (Q of A)

Junior boys 37-40kg

Second: Rory Brennan-McCann (Q of A)

Junior boys 39-41kg

Third: Connor Gregson (Tansor)

Junior boys 41-43kg

Second: Mattias Zachary (Q of A)

Junior boys 44-45kg

Fourth: Easton Iverson (Q of A)

Junior boys 46-48kg

First: Ethan Mellings (Q of A)

Junior boys 48kg

Second: Lyle Samson (Q of A)

Third: William Rithaler (Q of A)

Junior boys 48-51kg

Second: Dylan Battye (Q of A)

Fourth: Dylan Weaselhead (Q of A)

Junior boys 51-52kg

First: Zach Little (Cowichan Secondary)

Third: Landen Powell (Q of A)

Junior boys 52-54kg

Second: Caleb Battye (Cowichan Secondary)

Junior boys 55-57kg

First: Ashton Combdon (Q of A)

Second: Olvier Clarke (Q of A)

Junior boys 57-62kg

Second: Brady Gregson (Q of A)

Third: Max Jimmy (Q of A)

Junior boys 61-65kg

First: Dawson Jory (Cowichan Secondary)

Second: Caleb Fraser (Kelsey)

Fourth: Max Wolfe (Q of A)

Junior boys 62-67kg

First: Aiden Dyer-Price (Q of A)

Second: Damien Blaney (Cowichan Secondary)

Junior boys 79-81kg

Second: Bennett Telfer (Q of A)

Junior boys 118-129kg

Second: Luther Tiddler (Chemainus Secondary)

Senior girls 52-57kg

First:Hannah Tuplin (Chemainus Secondary)

Senior girls 60-65kg

First: Stephanie Mould (Cowichan Secondary)

Second: Hayley Bye-Pace (Cowichan Secondary)

Third: Miaya Brownbridge (Cowichan Secondary)

Senior girls 95kg

First: Emily Reid of (Chemainus Secondary)

Senior boys 52-57kg

First: Talon Hird (Cowichan Secondary)

Fourth: Josh Issack (Kelsey)

Senior boys 62-67kg

Fourth: Aiden Tuplin (DCS)

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Chemainus Secondary’s Hannah Tuplin battles Kiana Shew of SIDES during the Cougar Invitational in Chemainus last weekend. (Don Bodger/Black Press)

Two Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club athletes square off as Cowichan Secondary’s Talon Hird (blue) faces Josh Issack of Kelsey (red) during the Cougar Invitational in Chemainus last weekend. (Don Bodger/Black Press)

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