Eric Kim / Staff Reporter
On February 7, the zone championship qualifiers were hosted to decide the wrestlers that would compete to the provincials. Vanessa Fitzgerald, grade 11, one of the new wrestlers achieved, placed 3rd in her 51kg weight class, Arian Khezri, Grade 11, the other new wrestler placed 4th, and Connor Rae, Grade 9, achieved 5th place meaning that all three will be accepted into the provincials. Arashk Safari, Grade 11, and Gabriela Cross, Grade 11, could not compete due to skin infection. “The boys have to reach top 5 in their weight class to advance to the provincials… girls advance to the provincials as long as they compete since there are fewer girls participating” says Brian Hunter EAL teacher and coach. The zone qualifiers will be done in a preliminary, semi-final, final fashion to decide the provincial wrestlers.
Wrestlers took a ferry to Port Alberni to compete in their tournament against the school district on Dec. 31st with two new wrestlers and had great results. Gabriella Cross came in third place with one win and two losses, Vanessa Fitzgerald, 3rd place as well, Arian Khezri, has a walkaround of 91 kg, weight class of 84kg, won two games and lost two coming in fourth place, Connor Rae, Grade 9 with a walkaround weight of 64kg, weight class 63kg and Arashk Safari, grade 11, walkaround weight is 72, weight is 70 both had a win and two losses. Nick Reyes, grade 11, comes back from his injury to compete resulting in one win and two losses.
The 2020 Alberni Armada invitational in Port Alberni is an invitational to all wrestlers in the area. “The tournament was one of the biggest ones we’ve had so far… the tournament is more experience for me in my journey for the years to come.” Says Rae. The Port Alberni tournament was Khezri’s first experience in the wrestling competitive scene, “I joined 3 weeks ago and had 3 weeks of preparation for the tournament… I was feeling nervous and had to cut down my weight to compete” The Port Alberni is a similar tournament to the tournament hosted in Pinetree secondary school and will place the wrestlers in a higher spot in the provincial placement
Athletes Rae, Fitzgerald, and Khezri will now compete in their provincial tournament to finish off their wrestling season against their toughest foes yet.