Athletes from the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club had one last chance to compete before the Island championship meet, and they made the best of it.
Eight Cowichan Valley wrestlers claimed gold medals at the Campbell River Invitational last weekend, the first competition on Vancouver Island since the club’s own Cougar Invitational in December, and the last one before Islands this coming weekend.
“It was great for the kids to actually show their skills,” said head coach Nick Zuback, whose wrestlers had been training hard but were unable to compete because of a moratorium on inter-school tournaments.
The CVWC’s gold medallists:
• Loryn Roberts (Queen Margaret’s School), 64kg girls
A provincial champion two years ago, Roberts showed she hasn’t lost a step since then.
“She’s on a path to repeat,” Zuback said. “She captured gold pretty easily.”
• Jessica Nakahara (Ladysmith Secondary), 95+kg girls
Nakahara earned the first gold medal of her wrestling career.
• Joaqium Dalton-Pereira (Duncan Christian School), 48kg boys
Dalton-Pereira didn’t give up a point, and won all his matches by tech or pin.
• Carter Zuback (Queen of Angels), 51kg boys
Also didn’t give up a point in any of his matches.
• Ross Meiner (Quamichan School), 57kg boys
A junior-age wrestler, Meiner has working really hard at practice and earned a shot against older athletes.
“He had a game plan going in and executed it to a T,” Zuback commented.
• Antonio Iannidinardo (Frances Kelsey Secondary), 66kg boys
Also won all of his matches.
• Darren Doherty (DCS), 72kg boys
Beat all the opponents in his weight class, his only loss came in an exhibition against a gold medallist in another weight class who is two years older than him.
• Aiden Dyer-Price (DCS), 84kg boys
Won all four matches, including the final against the wrestler who beat him at the Cougar Invitational.
“It was a back-and-forth battle,” Zuback said. “The guy made one mistake and he capitalized.”
The club also had two silver medallists: Emma Greenwood (Chemainus Secondary), in the 64kg girls, and Gabe Carreiro, (Frances Kelsey), in the heavyweight boys class.
The CVWC’s five bronze medallists were Sedona Bond (QMS) in the 64kg girls, Savanna Screaton (QMS) in the 72kg girls, Elijah Cote (Nanaimo Christian) in the 45kg boys, Ehmber Shelley (QMS) in the 57kg boys, and Jacob Meiner (QMS) in the 60kg boys.
Two more finished fourth in their classes: Georgia Bond (QMS) in the 64kg, and Jayden Dutemple (Kelsey) in the 74kg boys.
The club will be sending a contingent of more than 30 wrestlers to the Island championships in Ucluelet this weekend. The top five boys and top six girls in each weight class qualify for provincials.