The Maple Ridge Ramblers women’s wrestling team has repeated as provincial champions for the fourth consecutive year.
The 2023 provincial championships were held at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum from Feb. 23 to 25, and coach Bill McCrae said “the girls were firing on all cylinders.”
Two Ramblers won gold medals. Madi Grof topped the podium and barely messed her hair. She had a dominant tournament that saw her go undefeated through four matches, and without having a point scored on her.
“We haven’t had that since Payton Smith,” said McCrae, referring to the two-time national champion who went on to wrestle for Simon Fraser University.
After winning silver last year, he said Grof was determined to take gold in her senior year, and brought leadership to the Ramblers as the team captain.
Ashton Senko also took gold, improving on last year’s silver medal at provincials. The Grade 11 who was named the 2022 female under-17 Wrestler of the Year by the BC Wrestling Association will return to lead the Ramblers next season, and likely battle for another gold medal.
Foreign exchange student Muriel Kott also won silver for the Ramblers girls
Team points are accumulated for each placing from sixth through first, and the Ramblers had other key contributions to their women’s team championships.
Zahara Adomi took fourth, Agnia Krakovska fifth and Mikayla Pratt sixth. The first two are in Grade 10, and Pratt Grade 11, and McCrae expects them to finish in the medals next year.
On the men’s side, Kynan Haintz placed second. In the championship match he unfortunately suffered an injury after falling on his head and neck, and was sent to hospital.
Travis Shultz finished fifth.
With up-and-coming young wrestlers adding to the group scoring points this year, McCrae expects his team to repeat as women’s champs next year.
Tatyana Lagrange won gold last year, but was missing from this year’s team after she fractured her ankle in the Age Class championships, McCrae noted.
The retired educator is now the assistant coach, with Kevin Menic taking over the team, and impressing McCrae with his dedication, organization and technical coaching.
“Next year will be our team’s best year ever,” McCrae predicts.
The senior boys championship team was Surrey’s Tamanawis Secondary, and W.J. Mouat Secondary of Abbotsford was the combined teams champion.
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