Campbell River’s younger wrestlers step it up in zone championships

Campbell River wrestlers served notice that they are a program on the rise at the Vancouver Island Wrestling Championships held in Chemainus Feb. 17.

The group featured eight wrestlers from Phoenix Middle School, Timberline Secondary and Carihi, who took on the top wrestlers on the island in an attempt to qualify for the Provincial Championships.

“The Zone Championships only have a senior division,” said coach Matt Sparling. “So our younger athletes had to step up and compete against much older wrestlers. They really performed and we had some very strong results to build on.”

Phoenix wrestlers Chymira Aubrey and Sadie Dowler earned a bronze medal and a silver medal respectively, with Timberline’s Kyle McDonald also claiming a bronze in the men’s very competitive 90kg division. Quinn Golobar (Carihi) also had a strong performance on the day, earning a silver in the men’s 60kg division.

Four wrestlers returned to Campbell River as Vancouver Island champions, with Joel House earning gold at 84kg and Alex Anderson capturing the title at 63kg. Scott Assu and Kaitlyn Jinda both defended their titles with gold medals in the men’s 48kg and women’s 69kg divisions. Based on the strong individual results on the day, the Carihi boys’ team finished third in the team standings, despite being one of the smallest teams at the competition.

“I was really impressed with the tenacity shown by our athletes,” said Carihi coach Jason Kerluck. “We had some really close matches that could have gone either way, but the kids found another gear and were able to pull out some really important wins. Eight athletes and eight medals is a result that any coach would be thrilled to have.”

With their results, all of the wrestlers have qualified for the Provincial Wrestling Championships being held March 1st-3rd in Port Alberni.