Brody Neighbour faces off with a Rambler in a battle of Maple Ridge high schools.

Wildcat wrestlers claw their way to three zone golds

Teare-Cunningham, Sawada and Tuck claim top spots at North Fraser Zones in Maple Ridge

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.

READ MORE: Westview’s women wrestlers win

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.”

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Secondary’s wrestlers dominate zones on home mats

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

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Westview’s Ashmeet Panag gets her hand raised after a quick pin at Friday’s zone championships

Marissa Burke circles around her opponent.

Westview wrestling coaches Greg Brock and Kaitlyn Poirier watch their athletes intently.

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