Fifth straight for Sabres
Since its inception five years ago, the host school has dominated the SlamFest high school wrestling meet.
But the gap between the Guildford Park Sabres and its rivals is shrinking.
Guildford Park repeated as champions of the all-Surrey competition Wednesday, but were given a challenge by the runnerup Enver Creek Cougars. The Sabres, with eight wins in the 13 weight classes contested in the boys category, topped Enver Creek for the title by a 203-153 margin.
“They didn’t seem close in points, but they actually were,” said Guildford Park coach Mark McRae. “They have some quality wrestlers. They’re ranked in the top 10 in B.C., and they backed that up. They’re a strong candidate to finish in the top 10 at provincials.”
A strong Cougars performance was led by Karnbir Johal, winner in the 70 kg. class. Johal topped Leon Bernard and Clark Amistad from the host school, and won the Junior Boys Outstanding Wrestler award.
“He looked pretty strong, I had two solid kids in that weight class and he beat them both,” said McRae.
Josh Beattie of Guildford Park landed the Senior Boys Outstanding Wrestler award for his performance in the 74 kg. class. Beattie usually wrestles at 70 kg., but was moved up as the Sabres have four quality wrestlers in the lower class.
“He beat (runnerup) Gurtej Bhatti (Enver Creek), who’s a pretty solid kid, and Rashwinder Sandhu of Queen Elizabeth, who placed at the War on the Floor,” said McRae.
Other winners from Guildford Park included Satinder Virk in the 84 kg. class, Zanah Palani in the 63 kg. group, O.C. Safar in 57 kg., Isaac Bernard in the 51 kg. category, Octavio Villena in 48 kg., Mohammed Minani at 45 kg. and Lawrence Kasseberi in the 41 kg. class.
Four other wrestlers from Enver Creek walked out of the Guildford Park gym with gold medals. Amanvir Basra topped the field in the 78 kg. group, Jagraj Basra won in the 66 kg. competition, and Sadegh Rouhani took gold in 60 kg.
Completing the list of winners was Sukhan Chahal of Queen Elizabeth, the gold medalist in the 38 kg. group.
“Chahal is going to be a threat to medal at the B.C.’s,” said McRae.
Gina Carpenter helped lead Guildford Park to the team title in girls competition, as her win over Preeti Rana of Queen Elizabeth in the 60 kg. class gave the Sabres a 53-44 edge in points.
Carpenter also won the Outstanding Female Wrestler award.
“Gina is the class of of Surrey by far,” said McRae. “The award was as much for what she’s done so far this year as for what she did at this meet.”
Other winners in girls categories were both from Queen Elizabeth. Elisha Betts defeated Olivia Kwiatowski of Guildford Park in the 70 kg. class, and Pavin Takhar topped Kyle Mabaquio of Kwantlen Park in the 55 kg. class.
The top wrestlers in the Fraser Valley are in Maple Ridge this weekend, hoping to qualify for the B.C. Championships which will be in Port Alberni Feb. 21-23.