Four Elphinstone Secondary wrestlers headed to nationals this last weekend. They wrestled three days, Friday through Sunday. They joined hundreds of wrestlers from across Canada, who converged on Calgary to battle it out to determine who would stand above all others as the best wrestlers in Canada.
Coaches Eric Sullivan, Mike Rines and George Richey talked last summer that this would be a great group and the right year to take a large number of wrestlers from the Coast to nationals. We just needed our athletes to be on podium provincially to be considered for Team BC. Mr. Richey, who passed this year, would have been so proud of his athletes following through on that goal to make it to nationals. The Coast wrestlers know George has been in their corner all season.
The athletes travelled in weekly, since April, working with Team BC and Capilano Wrestling Club. They also had three practices a week on Coast in preparation for nationals.
Ethan Sullivan, Grade 9, brought home the first medal for a male wrestler from Elphinstone. He won a bronze medal in Freestyle, then did the rare feat to double medal, winning another bronze in Greco as well.
Lia Trent, Grade 10, wrestled well in freestyle, then won a silver medal in Greco.
Alice Clements was the favourite to win in her weight class in both styles and was on her way, easily winning multiple matches until a bad fall on day one saw her breaking her arm, ending her run for gold. Drope was also on his way to podium in freestyle until an ankle injury ended his push to medal, as he was medically removed from competition. Prior to being pulled from the tournament, Dylan Drope had the match of his life, beating a provincial champion on one good foot.
The Elphinstone wrestlers joined the Capilano Club which had 11 strong wrestlers at nationals. All clubs were part of the larger Team BC contingent. The Capilano Club brought home six medals; half were won by Elphinstone Secondary wrestlers. Those medals were added to see Team BC emerge as the top province, dominating at nationals.
Thanks to Capilano coaches Joseph Huh and Kate Walker and Team BC coaches Gurjot Kooner and Sukhan Chahal. Their leadership and wisdom got our wrestlers on the podium.
Coach Sullivan could not be prouder of his Elphinstone wrestlers. It is an amazing accomplishment to have so many wrestlers, from one little high school, recognized as some of the best wrestlers in Canada.
Superintendent Kate Kerr commented, “Thank you to all the wrestlers for representing the Sunshine Coast proudly at the Nationals and to the coaches for their vision, skill, and care. This is truly a celebration of sport and learning on the Sunshine Coast.”