Valley champions defend title
It was a perfect weekend for Guildford Park wrestling.
Eighteen wrestlers from the Surrey high school attended the Fraser Valley Championships in Maple Ridge last weekend, and all 18 have qualified for the provincials.
And along the way, the Guildford Park Sabres won its second consecutive team title.
“This tournament was one of our best performances we have had as a group,” said Sabres coach Mark McRae. “We placed 10 boys in the finals and two girls.”
Defending provincial champions O.C. Safar in the 51 kg. class and Satinder Virk at 84 kg. easily won gold medals at the Fraser Valley meet, while in girls competition, Gina Carpenter in the 57 kg. category and Kathryn Pike in the 43 kg. group were also winners.
Carpenter also claimed the Most Outstanding Female Wrestler award.
“Gina will be looking to improve on her silver medal performance from 2007, but will be trying to do it in B.C.’s toughest weight class,” said McRae, noting three other wrestlers in that group are gold medal contenders.
Two other Guildford Park female wrestlers also qualified for the provincials, but one won’t be able to compete. While Joy Lee won a bronze medal in the 51 kg. group, Grade 8 student Olivia Kwiatkowski advanced far enough to qualify in the 75 kg. class, only to suffer a broken ankle which has brought her season to an end.
Eight Sabres won silver medals in boys competition, padding the team point totals.
Runnerups in their respective weight classes were Lawrence Kasseberi (38 kg.), Shane Wallace (54 kg.), Josh Beattie (70 kg.), brothers Isaac (48 kg.) and Leon (66 kg.) Bernard, Mouhamed Midani (45 kg.), Zanah Palani (60 kg.), and Yakhdan Al-Rekabi (110 kg.).
Completing the list of qualifiers from Guildford Park were Zain Hussein (bronze medal at 130 kg.), Grade 8 Dehl Moncada (fourth at 38 kg.), Octavio Villena (fifth at 48 kg.) and Clark Amistad (fifth at 66 kg.).
“Overall I was very pleased with the performance put forward by our team,” said McRae. “The Fraser Valley is by far the best zone, as potentially six out of the top 10 teams in B.C. will come from the Fraser Valley.
“To win it is a great accomplishment.”
The provincial championship meet will be in Port Alberni Feb. 21-23.