Carihi wrestler Kaitlyn Jinda moves in for the pin on Vanier’s Izabelle Smerchanski during the bronze medal match of the girls 69-75 KG bracket on Saturday, which she won in just 50 seconds. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River welcomes over 250 wrestlers to home tourney

22 locals took home medals from the CR Invite, held Jan. 19 at Carihi

The Carihi gymnasium was buzzing all day Saturday with anxiety, anticipation, joy, and some disappointment – from athletes and spectators alike – as the Campbell River Wrestling Association hosted over 250 school athletes at Carihi Secondary for the tenth annual Campbell River Invite Wrestling Tournament.

Teams from all over Vancouver Island – as well as a large contingent of wrestlers from the Lower Mainland – made the trip to Campbell River for the tournament to compete for top overall team awards, individual medals, and the “C.R. Invite Belt,” which was mixed martial arts style champions’ belt for the wrestler who demonstrates excellence, perseverance, and sportsmanship while winning one of the four feature “challenge” matches held between champions of different weight categories.

A big highlight this year was the feature match held in front of the big crowd between elementary wrestler Ronin Jordan from École Willow point and his Chemainus counterpart Braydon Zuback. Even though Jordan did not end up taking home the belt, elementary school coach Richard Castro was impressed with his performance and the day as a whole.

“Ronan handled the pressure of wrestling in front of hundreds of people well,” Castro says, “and it was great to see such great support from the community who came out to support all our athletes.”

Tournament director Matt Sparling gave credit for the success of the event not just to the athletes, but was impressed by how smoothly the entire event ran due to the amazing parents, volunteers, and sponsors.

“The event was another smashing success. I would like to give a special thank you to our exceptional sponsors Walco Industries for a very generous donation, Save-On Foods, Superstore, Sage Spa, Tim Hortons, Starbucks and the Party Shop,” Sparling says.

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And the Campbell River contingent can be exceptionally proud of their efforts on the weekend, as well. Four locals claimed gold medals in their weight classes, while nine Riverites won silvers and another nine took home the bronze in their categories.

Local results from the weekend were as follows:

Gold: Cruz Castro, John Trevenn, Ronin Jordan and Noah Kerluck.

Silver: Toryn Johnson, Anna Wheatley, Robert Campbell, Owen Olney, Sylus Thompson, Alex Jackson, Alex Anderson, Kyle McDonald and Sadie Dowler.

Bronze: Azuolas Pranckus, Kolbie Rosse, Ella Ricard, Kira Abram-Veloso, Nolan Cathart, Max Gardner, Draydon Antypovich, Chymira Aubry and Kaitlyn Jinda.

Placing from 4th to 6th were Addyson Berrevoets, Landon Block, River Strong, Kaylis Johnson, Karson Kanester, Noah Cornbill, Oliver Cornbill, Fayth Pontious, Charley Harris, Kelsey Grothen, Taiya Savard, Dyland Parr, Caleb Haugen, Curtis Owens, Riory Young, Michael Samuel, Jamie Calanan and Gilford McGrath.