Some of the Cowichan Valley Wrestling club’s youngest and newest athletes were in action last weekend as the season began with the Island Novice Meet in Campbell River.
It was the first meet for many of the 21 Cowichan wrestlers, with the event limited to competitors in their first or second years in the sport.
“All the kids wrestled extremely well,” CVWC head coach Nick Zuback said. “We had good results; lots of firsts, seconds and thirds.”
Chemainus Secondary won the girls division, finishing one spot ahead of Cowichan Secondary, with Chemainus Elementary in fifth. The sport has found a foothold in Chemainus, in no small part because of national and international competitor Hannah Tuplin, who attends the high school there.
“We’ve had an influx of girls from Chemainus,” Zuback said. “One of our coaches, Eric [Anderson] did a few workshops for their P.E. classes, and Hannah [Tuplin] being from there provides great exposure. We’ve got four or five new kids from there.”
Queen of Angels finished second in the junior boys division, followed by Cowichan Secondary and Frances Kelsey, who tied for second. Cowichan Secondary also placed third in the senior boys division, and Q of A was third in the elementary combined standings.
The club collected 22 top-four finishes, including first-place results by Dylan Battye (Q of A) in the junior boys 43-47kg class, Josh Isaac (Kelsey) in the junior boys 56-57kg, Luther Tiddler (Chemainus Secondary) in the junior boys 117kg, Nadja Schwarz (Cow High) in the junior girls 58-59kg, Chloe Foster (Cow High) in the junior girls 68kg, Emily Reid (Chemainus Secondary) in the junior girls 88-94kg, Dawson Jory (Cow High) in the senior boys 67-68kg, Cassidy Pace (Q of A) in the elementary girls 44-45kg, Carter Zuback (Q of A) in the elementary boys 31-33kg, and Darren Doherty (Duncan Christian) in the elementary boys 39-40kg.
Finishing second in their respective classes were Mattias Zachary (Q of A), Zach Little (Cow High), Caleb Battye (Cow High), Chloe Siddals (Chemainus Secondary), Rosie Klatt-Leblanc (Chemainus Secondary), and Chloe Atkinson (Cow High).
Cameron Healey (Bench), Travis Cowan (Bench) and Dylan Weaselhead (Q of A) all placed third, and Easton Iverson (Q of A), Elizabeth Reid (Chemainus Elementary) and Ross Meiner (Alex Aitken) finished fourth in their divisions.
The CVWC will host the annual Cougar Invitational meet at Chemainus Secondary this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 200 wrestlers will be on hand, including nearly 100 from the Cowichan club; all the athletes who wrestled last weekend and the more experience wrestlers as well.