Six members of the Williams Lake Wrestling Club joined more than 700 athletes in Kamloops Jan. 11-12 for the Western Age Class Tournament.
“This is a qualification tournament for nationals,” said Sonia Conrod, president and head coach of the WLWC.
“The tournament is the largest high school tournament in Western Canada. Competitors from as far as Saskatchewan come to compete and it was a good look at what and who will be competing in provincials this year.”
On the first day of the tournament all WLWC grapplers made it through to the semifinal and finals held Saturday.
There was also a mini elementary tournament Saturday, where Grade 5 student Zane Barr — the only elementary athlete from the WLWC to attend — placed fifth in the 44-kilogram weight class.
“This was his first tournament and he did amazing,” Sonia said.
In the Schoolgirl division (grades 7/8) Danielle Schultz, in the 45-kilogram weight class, fought her way to a bronze medal.
“This is Danielle’s first year wrestling and she is doing very well,” Sonia said. “A natural warrior on the mat.”
Mikaela Lemon, in the 74-kilogram class, went undefeated in four intense matches to bring home a gold medal.
In the Cadet division (grades 9/10) Columneetza student Peter Fayowski battled to a silver medal.
“It is also Peter’s first year wrestling,” Sonia said. “He is dedicated and a great asset.”
WLWC vet Braden Conrod took on the challenge of competing up a weight class.
“He battled hard, although he didn’t make the podium, took a very respectable 10th,” Sonia said.
In the Juvenile (grades 11/12) division Kara Pare, in the 56-kilogram class, took seventh overall.
“It was a very tough group with some very skilled young ladies,” Sonia said.
Sonia said WLWC veteran Conlan Sprickerhoff also faced a challenge in his division.
“There were 14 young men in the 58-kilogram division,” she said. “It was stacked full of top provincial placing athletes from around the province. Conlan did extremely well and never gave up. He took a very hard fall in his last match but despite this he finished the match placing seventh overall.”
The following weekend five members of the WLWC attended the Kelly Road Invitational in Prince George Jan. 19.
“This is the last chance we get to meet our competition before the provincial zones coming up Feb. 16,” she said.
In the 47-kilogram girls class Schultz brought home another silver.
For 74-kilogram girls Lemon placed fifth. In the 54-kilogram boys division Braden went undefeated, picking up a gold medal.
Kerry Normand, in the 90-kilogram class, scooped a silver medal. Fayowski, in the 100-kilogram division, took fifth.
“All the kids did amazing and learned a lot about their competition and what to work on for upcoming zones,” Sonia said.
For those who qualify, provincials will go in Duncan.