Wrestling revival continues with over 300 competing at C.R. Invite

The Carihi Wrestling team hosted over 300 wrestlers at the annual Campbell River Invite wrestling meet on Feb. 3.

“This was the biggest wrestling tournament hosted in Campbell River, probably since the 1990’s,” said Carihi coach, Jason Kerluck. “We’re attracting wrestlers from the lower mainland, which gives our Island wrestlers some good competition.”

Local wrestlers fared well, with Ecole Phoenix Middle School once again leading the way. Newcomer Dane Kerluck earned a fifth place finish, and Dawson Gage, Josh Lanyon, Griffin Lelliot, Connor Drake and Lucas Milne earned bronze medals. Bringing home silver medals were Akira Isaac, Michael Smith, and Sadie Dowler. William Ashurst and Owen Olney finished the tournament undefeated, and earned gold medals for their strong efforts.

Junior-aged participants from other local schools also participated in the tournament, with Andrew Hrybko of Southgate and Liam Castain of Campbell River Christian earning fourth place finishes. Southgate’s Gage Balle had a very strong tournament, finishing with a silver in his division. Many of our brand new elementary wrestlers got to experience their first very first competition, going up against competitors from Port Alberni and Duncan. Fun was had by all.

At the senior level, Braeden Anderson of Timberline and Curtis Owen (CR Christian) finished in the top six, Timberline’s Kyle McDonald earned silver, along with Carihi’s Kaitlyn Jinda and Quinn Golobar, and Alex Anderson from Carihi won a bronze medal.

Also on that weekend, a small group of C.R. wrestlers were chosen to compete for the North Island at a dual meet style event held in Port Alberni. The group faced off against other teams from the Island and the lower mainland. Phoenix coach Mike Munsie was quite impressed with the local athletes. “Timberline’s Kyle McDonald was our best performer, going 4-1 on the day, including a victory against a much larger heavyweight opponent,” said Munsie. Carihi students Kaitlyn Jinda and Alex Anderson wrestled well in picking up wins, and Quinn Golobar had a strong outing, winning several matches by technical superiority. Said coach Munsie about Golobar’s day, “He will have a bright future in the sport if he commits to it.”

Next up for local wrestlers are the zone championships in Duncan on Feb. 17, where they will look to qualify for Provincials being held in Port Alberni at the beginning of March.