Three Maple Ridge wrestlers made it to the podium at the B.C. Championships, held Thursday through Saturday in Abbotsford.
But coach Bill McCrae is optimistic there will be more Ramblers on the podium – and in higher positions – next year.
Cameron Hicks finished in third place in the 48 kg class, despite battling a painful shoulder injury.
“He’s literally been wrestling with one arm for the past two months,” said McCrae. “It makes it pretty tough to win.”
Even with the injury, only a poor draw kept him from wrestling his way to the final, where Hicks would have come up against Jagmeet Klair of Abbotsford Traditional – another of the province’s elite wrestlers.
The top six wrestlers in a class make it to the podium, and Olivia McDonnel took fourth in her class.
Dionte Hurtado finished in sixth place in the 90 kg class, and McCrae said that was a good result considering his limited experience.
“He excelled. For his first provincials, he wrestled really well,” said the coach.
In his first match, Hurtado lost to the eventual provincial champion. Then Hurtado won three fights in a row in the consolation round, before losing his second match in the battle for fifth and sixth places.
McCrae noted that all three of those wrestlers are in Grade 11, and will be able to take runs at provincial titles in their grad years.
Ryan Hicks, Cameron’s little brother, will join the team as a Grade 8 and already has four years of wrestling experience. Including him and other grapplers, the Ramblers should assemble a team with seven potential podium finishers in the 2016 provincials.
“The future is bright.”
Hicks will compete at the national championships in Fredericton, N.B. next month, and will be looking to win, after taking national silver last year.