Westview Secondary will send 10 wrestlers to the provincial championships in Langley this weekend after a strong showing at the North Fraser Zone Championships last Friday (Feb. 7).
Competing against 17 schools from the district, including their cross-town rivals, who hosted the event, the Wildcats showed perseverance, skill and uncommon strength to continue their impressive season.
The girl’s team finished third in the region, with Lilly Teare-Cunningham and Zoie Sawada earning gold medals in the process; and the boy’s more than held there own, with Wyatt Tuck winning a gold and Braedon Monts claiming bronze in a difficult division.
Coach Kaitlyn Poirier said the experience was ‘awesome.’
“We’re really excited. Bringing ten kids to provincials is big,” she said.
“We were really proud of what they did. They showed up, they worked really hard and not a single one of them gave up.”
Poirier said she was impressed to see the difference in performance between the first tournament the athletes competed in and the zones.
“I think the kids were also able to see that and reflect upon it and see how much they’ve grown,” she said.
“That self reflection is what’s really impressive and now they’re feeling ready to go to provincials, which is really good.”
While home team favourites Maple Ridge Secondary had an edge on them, Poirier said her team never let it get to them.
“There’s always the home team advantage as you saw with the Ridge wrestlers getting the huge cheers,” she said.
“But we show up, we know them, they know us, and I don’t think the kids respond poorly to that sort of thing. They’re pretty resilient, so even if [the crowd] is cheering for somebody else, they’ll still wrestle just as hard.”
This week the team has been back to fundamentals in the gym.
“They’re not learning anything new. We’re just reviewing all the basic little things we’ve done this year,” Poirier said.
“I think this is another opportunity to realize how much they’ve learned. Today we were going over some ground defense and I spent a few minutes listing off all the things that they can try and they were like, ‘Yeah, we know all that!’ Which was awesome.”’
Maple View Wrestling results
Lilly Teare-Cunningham- Gold
Zoie Sawada- Gold
Wyatt Tuck- Gold
Braedon Monts- Bronze
Ashmeet Panag- 4th
Austen McAllorum- 4th
Marissa Burke- 5th
Jayden Burke- 6th
Kayana Irani- 6th
Vienna Zivin- no listed place, but qualified