Queen Margaret’s School emerged as a new contender in high school wrestling at the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club’s Cougar Invitational meet held at Frances Kelsey Secondary School last Saturday.
QMS, the new headquarters of the CVWC, had the most wrestlers at the meet and finished third in the combined senior team standings behind Island wrestling powers Ucluelet Secondary and Alberni District.
Many of the QMS wrestlers are new to the sport, having picked it up just this fall, but they looked like seasoned veterans at their first meet. Phoenix Skailes won the senior girls 95-98kg class, just ahead of fellow CVWC member Jessica Nakahara of Ladysmith Secondary. CVWC head coach Nick Zuback said Skailes “showed great poise” in her debut competition.
“She executed the moves she had been practicing,” the coach said.
Also in the senior girls ranks, Georgia Bond of QMS finished second in the 58-26kg class.
Another standout from QMS was Isaac Morgan, who placed second in the senior boys 62-66kg class, one of the toughest weight classes. Nicholas Wade of Cowichan Secondary finished fourth in that class, and Callum Epp-Evans of QMS placed fifth.
“He found ways to win,” Zuback said of Morgan.
Quamichan Secondary came first in the junior combined standings, while Queen of Angels was third. One of the brightest newcomers in the junior ranks was another QMS wrestler, Rose Wu, who won all three of her matches: the first by a 10-0 score, the second by pin, and the third with a scoring move just as time ran out.
“For a new wrestler who’s only been wrestling for four or five weeks, that was pretty impressive to see,” Zuback said.
Emma Greenwood of Chemainus Secondary won the junior girls 64-65kg class, just ahead of QMS’s Sedona Bond. A Grade 8 athlete, Greenwood has been wrestling with the club for a couple of years already and is now able to compete for a provincial title.
“Her technique for a Grade 8 is far superior to most,” Zuback said. “She’s a tough young lady. I expect her to go far come provincials time.”
In the elementary ranks, Brayden Zuback, also of QMS, swept his way to first in the boys 34-37kg class, winning all his matches by pin. Grayson Blatchford of École Cobble Hill placed third, and Mason Martin of Tansor Elementary was fourth. Chemainus Elementary’s Lucy Healey showed remarkable potential as she won the girls 41-43 class, with Jordanna Crawford of Tansor in second.
“She’s got all the tools,” Zuback said of Healey. “She’s been wrestling for a few years with the club. She’s definitely one to watch in the next few years.”
The meet drew 112 wrestlers from across Vancouver Island. The athletes all had fun, Zuback said, and the atmosphere was excellent.
“It exceeded expectations,” he enthused. “It had been a long time since we had a tournament, but with all the restrictions, it went smooth. I was pretty happy as tournament director and coach of Queen Margaret’s School and the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club.”
Other results for Cowichan Valley wrestlers included:
56-59kg: 4. Joaquin Dalton-Pereira (DCS), 5. Ehmber Shelley (QMS)
59-63kg: 3. Lyle Samson (CVOLC), 4. Quinn Bond (QMS)
67-72kg: 1. Darren Doherty (DCS)
81-84kg: 2. Aiden Dyer-Price (DCS)
88-95kg: 2. Reid Yurkowski (Cowichan Sec.)
108-125: 2. Gabriel Carriero (Kelsey)
55-57kg: 3. Sabina Weber (QMS)
34-38kg: 2. Leon Tsuboi (QMS)
41-45kg: 3. Alex Wayne Winterhalt (QMS)
50-53kg: 1. Carter Zuback (Q of A), 2. Brody Wade (Quam), 3. Nate Cyr (Quam), 5. Owen Corley (Quam)
54-56kg: 1. Ross Meiner (Alex Aitken), 2. Jacob Meiner (QMS)
58-59kg: 3. Angus Heys (QMS),
68-72kg: 2. Jake Armstrong (QMS)
73-76kg: 1. Jacob Fraser (Kelsey)
50-56kg: 1. Scarlett Vanderbasch (Chemainus El.), 2. Noelle Klatt (Cobble Hill)
62kg: 1. Beatrix Klatt (Cobble Hill)
28-31kg: 1. Gilles Dalton-Pereira (Q of A), 3. Miguel Dalton-Pereira (Q of A)
43-47kg: 2. James Corley (Cobble Hill), 3. Brody Brennan-McCann (Q of A)
47kg: 2. Nate Crowston (Cobble Hill), 3. Kian Shelley (QMS)
55-62kg: 1. Ronaldo Carriero (Bench), 2. Paul Clark (Alex Aitken), Grant Parmar (QMS)
71-71kg: 1. Manny Iannidinardo (Cobble Hill)