Duncan wrestlers Ashton Combdon and Hayley Bye-Pace both medalled for Vancouver Island-Central Coast (Zone 6) at the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games. (Kevin Rothbauer/Black Press)

Duncan wrestler Ashton Combdon beats the odds to medal at BC Summer Games

Combdon joins CVWC teammates Talon Hird and Hayley Bye-Pace on the podium

Vancouver Island-born Ashton Combdon may be only five-foot-five and in the 54kg weight class, but he is a force to be reckoned with.

Combdon won an impressive bronze medal in wrestling at Chemainus Secondary School on Saturday as part of the BC Summer Games on Saturday.

The Zone 6 wrestler from Duncan has a life-threatening condition of the digestive system that has required him to endure over 50 procedures and surgeries, but this seems to have only made him stronger in heart, mind and body.

Combdon works on technical wresting skills three times a week, as well as hitting the gym and jogging regularly. A member of the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club, he trains with his mentor, five-foot-two, Queen of Angels School student and wrestling partner Talon Hird.

“Talon is amazing,” Combdon said of Hird, a two-time provincial champion. “He’s untouchable. We train together and he challenges me.”

Hird also won a medal at the BC Summer Games, a gold in the 52kg weight class. Similarly, female teammate Hayley Bye-Pace, a good friend of Combdon’s, also won a gold medal that day in her weight class. The Zone 6 (Vancouver Island-Central Coast) wresting team has done very well gathering medals for the team competition that will be decided on Sunday.

Nick Zuback, a Queen of Angels teacher and head coach of the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club, is amazed by Combdon’s progress as an athlete.

“Ashton came to me really keen about joining the wrestling team when he first started at Queen of Angels School in Grade 7,” Zuback recalled. “I have never seen someone more dedicated and hard-working than Ashton. He is a sponge for knowledge and when he learns a technique he wants to perfect it.”

For Combdon, the BC Summer Games have been a great experience and he has particularly enjoyed the team aspect of the Games. He is setting his sights on the Olympics, and with all he has been through in life and how far he has already come, there’s a good chance with his continued hard work, he will get there.

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