Maple Ridge secondary wrestlers take bronze at B.C. finals
The Maple Ridge Secondary School wrestling team finished third overall at the B.C. High School Wrestling Championships held last weekend in Penticton, thanks to the heroics of Payten Smith and Cameron Hicks.
Both Hicks (Grade 8) and Smith (Grade 10) won gold in their respective weight classes, while seniors Brodie McKenzie and Colton Koopman won silvers, helping the Ramblers finish third overall in the team competition.
Smith finished the tournament with a flawless record, by not allowing a single point to be scored against her during the entire competition.
Shaimen Bhogal also scored valuable team points placing fifth.
Coach Bill McCrae said the team’s outstanding results were reminiscent of the Ridge teams from the mid-1990s that dominated the provincial competition.
“Cameron rose up like a phoenix after being clearly choked out in his semifinal match to win gold along with Payten, who dominated her opponents,” he said. “Together with an incredible team effort ... the memories were comparable to our teams in the ’90s.”
Westview wrestler grabs bronze in 60 kg
Westview secondary also had a strong showing at the tournament, earning an individual bronze medal despite fielding a team of novice wrestlers. The seven-person team competed in only novice tournaments for most of the year, but improved steadily as the season progressed.
The Wildcats managed to qualify four wrestlers for provincials at the Upper Fraser Valley Championships last month, in what was their very first elite-level tournament. Cody Osborn finished first in the 60 kg weight class at the provincial qualifier, while Sabre Scott finished third in the 54 kg class. Emerald UnRuh and Steven Rosenau both placed fourth.
In Penticton, Osborn dominated every match in a very competitive weight class, until reaching the semifinals, where he lost a close decision to the eventual provincial champion. In his last match of the tournament, Osborn beat an opponent from Kelly Road on points to win the bronze medal in only his second elite tournament.