Abbotsford’s status as a wrestling hotbed was affirmed once again at the Upper Fraser Valley high school zone championships at Maple Ridge Secondary last Saturday.
Local grapplers made an eye-popping haul of 24 medals, led by the W.J. Mouat Hawks, who swept to victory in both the boys and girls aggregate standings.
The Hawks boys, the defending B.C. champions, won the Upper Valley meet with 83 points, just ahead of the Abbotsford Traditional Titans (72 points), one of their crosstown rivals. The Rick Hansen Hurricanes (43) were sixth, while the Yale Lions (25) tied for ninth.
Nishan Randhawa, the gold medalist at 90 kilograms, led the charge for the Hawks, who got silver medals from Ramandeep Khehira (90 kg), Pavan Sangha (51 kg), Davinder Gill (57 kg) and Amrit Benning (70 kg), and a bronze from Leon Lokombo (78 kg).
Abby Traditional served notice that they’ll be a threat to the Hawks at high school provincials, which run next week (Feb. 28 and March 1) in Prince George. The Titans put seven wrestlers on the podium, including a trio of gold medalists – Jagmeet Klair (41 kg), Jaskarn Khela (54 kg) and Navi Gill (66 kg). Their other medal-winners were Austin Gurm (silver, 78 kg), Navdeep Dhillon (silver, 54 kg), Sukman Ladhar (bronze, 41 kg) and Tanjot Kahlon (bronze, 66 kg).
The Hurricanes also produced three gold medalists – defending B.C. champs Justin Gill (74 kg) and Navdeep Toor (48 kg) were joined on the top step of the podium by Harman Basran (60 kg). Pawandeep Khinda added a bronze medal in the heavyweight (110-plus kg) division.
Devon Purewal’s gold medal at 78 kg highlighted the Yale effort, while Eknoor Bajwa notched a bronze at 51 kg. Akash Sund of Eugene Reimer Middle, who won silver at 41 kg, rounded out the local boys medalists.
On the girls side, Mouat registered 16 points to tie with Guildford Park of Surrey, but they claimed the zone title based on tiebreakers.
Pravi Dhaliwal, who won the outstanding female wrestler award, led a contingent of four medalists which included Gagan Malay (gold, 51 kg), Nicole Ellis (gold, 54 kg) and Aman Bains (silver, 57 kg).