Wrestlers display fine form in Western age-group championships
Twenty members of the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club attended the Western age-group wrestling championships in Kamloops and 11 won medals by finishing in the top three.
It was another great display by the talented boys and girls from the club who are always a force in competition. Others who didn't win medals were still serious contenders.
"It was very successful, probably our best finish for medals ever,'' said CVWC head coach Nick Zuback.
The CVWC contingent won six gold medals, two silver and three bronze.
Weigh-ins were conducted last Thursday, with competition taking place Friday and Saturday.
Maegan Kuruvita, co-winner of the News Leader Pictorial's Youth Athlete of the Year award for 2012, won gold in the 65-kilogram juvenile girls' class. "Nothing was close for her,'' said Zuback.
Faye Tuck took top spot for the cadet girls' 49 kg in an all-Cowichan final. Chelsea Warke was the runner-up.
Ian Tuck placed first in the 48 kg schoolboy event while Andrea Morris struck gold in 43 kg and was named MVP of the schoolgirl division. Morris, a Grade 8 student at Queen of Angels School, won all three of her matches by pinfall.
Others earning gold included: Nolan Mitchell in the 46 kg juvenile division and Frazer Smith in 50 kg schoolboy.
Besides Warke's silver in 49 kg cadet girls, Randi Thomas was second in the 90 kg event.
Bronze medalists included: Olive Kiruiro in the 90 kg cadet girls, Hannah Lauridsen in 60 kg juvenile and Molly O'Donnell in 52 kg.
Zuback said O'Donnell could just as easily have finished first, but was subjected to a couple of tough calls.
"She took it in stride and went on to win the next three matches,'' Zuback pointed out.
Rayne Hankins came close to a medal in 65 kg cadet girls, placing fourth. Scott Kennedy and Jimmy Wyld were both fifth in 69 kg boys and 54 kg juvenile boys, respectively.
Others who competed hard during the competition and didn't go down without a fight included: Aiden Claus, Kayden Dorma, Ryan Kuruvita, Erik Hovey, Justin Nellystyn and Nick George.
The top three from the cadet and juvenile groups qualified for the nationals taking place April 4 to 7 in Saskatoon.
"We'll be doing fundraisers,'' said Zuback, to send the athletes on their way.
CVWC is hosting the high school provincials March 1 and 2 for Grades 8 to 12. Lots of planning will be going into that event before it's staged.
The recent Simon Fraser University War on the Floor event also produced some great results for the club.
O'Donnell came second to last year's provincial champions in her class, Maegan Kuruvita was second to an American wrestler and Faye Tuck also earned a second-place standing.