Brother and sister, Jack and Ellie Pye sport matching gold medals after the Alberni Invitational wrestling tournament. The annual tournament, now in its 36th year, is held in Port Alberni and saw wrestlers from 50 schools across the province compete Feb. 1 and 2.
Dunsmuir Middle School’s Jack Pye won the schoolboys 72kg weight class, while his sister Ellie, from Happy Valley Elementary School, triumphed in the the schoolgirls 47kg weight class.
Jack provided an exciting series of performances to win his three matches, including two pins. In his second match, Jack was down 7-0 but fought back to win 10-9, including a spectacular last-second four point throw that won him the match.
Ellie completed her wins in style, with her performance in her three matches being described by her coaches as ‘dominating’, securing two technical superiorities and a pin.
Monterey Middle School wrestler and silver medallist Elijah Pavlov, also tasted success, enjoying a 3-1 score in each match and with his wins all coming by technical superiority. His lone loss came after being reversed and then pinned after a scramble.
The students, who all train with Victoria Wrestling Club, have been commended by their coaches for their performances as they all only joined the club two months ago.
Ben Copeland from Stelly’s Secondary and Leigha Auld from Edward Milne Community School also competed at the tournament. Copeland, wrestling in only his second ever competition just fell short of the bronze medal match in the Cadet Boys 51kg weight class.
Unfortunately Auld suffered an injury and had to retire from the tournament.
The season for high-school athletes finishes in two week’s time with the Island Zone qualifier next weekend and the Provincial Championships from Feb. 17 to 19.
Any middle and high-school aged students wishing to join the club are encouraged to email VictoriaWrestlingClub@gmail.com.
The club, which trains at Zuma MMA, is coached by former international athletes Michael Cappus and Steve Rennalls.