As new as the Okanagan Similkameen Wrestling Club is, it attracted 127 wrestlers for its home meet at Princess Margaret Secondary School over the weekend.
After its inaugural year, the OSWC is looking to build and the tournament was a good starting point. It’s wrestlers won three gold (Josh Regier, Landon Wigley, and Jared Lowenstein), three silver (Grayson Eneas, Mason Poon and Braden Marriot-Holm) and one bronze medal (Leo Kruger).
The results made OSWC manager Robert Kroeker pleased.
“The club performed exceptionally well,” he said, as they placed fourth behind Kamloop’s Norkam School, Westside and Salmon Arm.
Wigley felt the tournament was good but he wasn’t put in a challenging weight class. Usually competing in the 63-kg group, Wigley faced 60-kg wrestlers. While the weight wasn’t much of a factor, he said his challengers were.
“Some of them were pretty good, but most of them were new wrestlers,” he said. “I feel I wrestled pretty well. It could have been better, but I had strep throat. I felt my conditioning wasn’t the greatest.”
Wigley’s goal was to wrestle his best. He accomplished that despite his health.
The goal entering the tournament was to get their wrestlers involved and gain experience. Winning wasn’t a focus as much as each athlete getting a feel for the sport. The OSWC is also looking to put wrestlers in the provincial championship and last weekend’s results help.
“Right now we are in a building phase,” said Kroeker, as the club trains twice a week. “The kids are having fun. They are having some success. It’s a beginning tournament.”
The next tournament that OSWC will participate in is the War on the Floor in Burnaby Dec. 7 to 9.
Also competing was the Penticton Wrestling Club. They earned strong results from Devin DiGiglio who placed second in the 43-kg category. Justin Thornton placed second at 60 kg, Egzon Emini placed second at 84 kg, Nico Carboni was fourth at 84 kg and Phong Chi Lee was sixth at 84 kg.
Coach Tony Ramsay said for most of his wrestlers, this was their first tournament.
“For our beginner wrestlers it was a good way to get the butterflies out of their systems,” he said. “Tournaments such as this are a good way of showing the athletes where they stand in terms of their technique.”
Ramsay also added that, when discussing techniques in practice, and the importance of it, the information sinks in better during an actual match.
Ramsay said the size of the tournament was great and provided a solid chance for his wrestlers to get some competition.