Wrestler qualifiers in record numbers

John Barsby’s Inga Holmgeirsson fights to break free from the grasp of Cowichan’s Randi Thomas during a match at last year
John Barsby’s Inga Holmgeirsson fights to break free from the grasp of Cowichan’s Randi Thomas during a match at last year's Vancouver Island Championships at Dover Bay Secondary School.
— image credit: Rachel Stern (Black Press)/file

A couple of dozen wrestlers will be competing on their home turf when the valley plays host to the B.C. Secondary School provincial championships next week.

“We qualified 24 wrestlers for the provincials this year — a new record,’’ raved Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club head coach Nick Zuback.

The athletes qualified from the island tournament in Ucluelet and will now get a chance to show their stuff to the hometown audience during the provincials at the Island Savings Centre March 1 and 2.

In the boys’ team standings at the island zone competition, Cowichan Secondary was fifth with 21 points, Queen of Angels sixth with 20 and Frances Kelsey tied for 10th with 12.

Cowichan results included second place for Owen Pite in 60 kilogram, third for Chris Butterworth in 63 kg, first for Cole Nikirk in 78 kg, and second for Justin Nellystyn in 90 kg.

Queen of Angels students Aiden Heggie recorded a victory in 38 kg, Ken Koury was sixth in 48 kg, Ryan Kuruvita third and Nick George fifth in 54 kg, and Karol Esquivel fifth and Fraser Smith sixth in 51 kg.

Kelsey’s Kayden Dorma placed fourth in 51 kg while Ayden Claus took fourth for 74 kg.

Jacob Berry-McKechnie of Lake Cowichan placed fifth in 57 kg and Donovan Stoochnoff from Chemainus was third in 110 kg.

In the girls’ team standings, Cowichan finished third with 21 points, Queen of Angels had 10 for sixth, Quamichan recorded four for eighth and Kelsey had three for ninth.

Cowichan’s Hannah Lauridsen (60 kg), Maegan Kuruvita (64 kg) and Randi Thomas (90 kg) all won their classes.

Queen of Angels’ Andrea Morris was second in 43 kg and Molly O’Donnell third in 54 kg.

Quamichan’s Chelsea Warke (47 kg) and Rayne Hankins (64 kg) were third and fourth, respectively, in their categories.

Kelsey’s Olive Kuruiro secured second for 90 kg and Anita Esquivel from Queen Margaret’s was fifth in 54 kg.

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