The Williams Lake Wrestling Club laced up their boots and headed to Kelowna recently for the Ogopogo Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
Ten members of the Black and Blue competed at the event, held Jan. 29.
“This was one of the very few tournaments where all age groups can compete, ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12,” said Sonia Conrod, head coach and president of the WLWC. “This was a first tournament for many of our younger athletes.
“It was nice to see parents and family members and friends of the Black and Blue there to cheer on and support the kids. They represented Williams Lake with great pride.”
In the primary division, Grade 2 student Jacob Worthington fought his way to his first medal of the season, bringing home a bronze medal in the 25-kilogram weight class. Also in the primary division Grade 2 grappler Coda Mclain just missed the podium, taking fourth in the 29-kg class.
Coda’s brother Chevy Mclain, Grade 3, battled his way to a silver medal in the same weight class.
“This was their first tournament ever and they did amazing,” Conrod said.
Two WLWC members competed in the intermediate division. Grade 5 student Zane Barr won silver in the 43-kg class, while Nathan Preston battled to a gold medal in the 49-kg division.
Five of the club’s high school athletes, Conrod said, showed great enthusiasm and support for the WLWC’s younger wrestlers.
“They encouraged them throughout the tournament and helped coach during matches, as well,” Conrod said. “From my experience the little guys really look up to the older members of the team. It’s one of the few sports that has such a variety of ages together on a team.”
In the Schoolgirl Division (grades 7-8) Columneetza’s Danielle Schultz won gold in the 47-kg class. In the Cadet Division (grades 9-10) Braden Conrod fought through a tough division to nab gold.
In the Juvenile Division (grades 11-12) Makaela Haller, in the 56-kg class, brought home silver, while teammate Kara Pare took gold.
On the boys’ side Kerry Normad, in the Juvenile Division (grades 11-12), won silver, despite battling through an injury.
“All in all the kids had a great time,” Conrod said.
Coming up for the WLWC is the North Central Zone Wrestling Championships Feb. 16 in Prince George.
“This is the qualifier for provincials, which will be held on Vancouver Island at the end of February,” Conrod said.
For the club’s elementary grapplers, Wrestlemania goes March 8 in 100 Mile House.