It’s a busy wrestling weekend at the University of the Fraser Valley, with events running from Friday to Sunday at the school’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
On Friday and Saturday, the Western Canadian Age-Class Championships will take over the north and south gyms, with athletes in Grades 1 through 12 competing over the two days. Matches begin Friday at 12:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m.
The event is put on by Abbotsford’s Mid Valley Athletics, the main group that funds the UFV wrestling program.
This specific event is the major fundraising activity to help support and continue the wrestling program at the school. Extra money donated will go towards scholarships for next year.
Many Abbotsford talents will compete in the two-day event.
Next up is the annual Cascades Classic, which runs on Sunday in the south gym. There will also be an adult novice wrestling tournament on Sunday.
Six wrestlers from UFV – Calista Espinosa (48 kg) on the women’s side, and Karan Dhillon (90 kg), Sunny Benning (82 kg), Amar Atwal (76 kg), Ali Rahguzar (68 kg) and Jason Bains (100 kg) on the men’s – will participate in the university tourney.
There will also be competitors from the Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas, Saskatchewan Huskies, Calgary Dinos, Simon Fraser Clan, and local club athletes.
The Cascades men’s wrestling team is ranked No. 6 in the nation, and the program is coming off a promising showing two weeks ago at the Golden Bears Invitational in Edmonton. Five UFV wrestlers medaled at that event.
“It feels really good to compete at home,” stated Bains.
“It’s been a year since we competed here (at the 2019 Canada West championships), and getting the feel of home-court advantage means a lot. And winning at home feels a lot better than winning other places. We’re looking forward to it.”
Bains said the team wants to get as many wrestlers as possible to the Canada West finals, and also excel at home.
“For this tournament what we want to accomplish is, it’s the last tournament before Canada West (championships),” he stated. “This is our last opportunity to get matches in, so we want to get as many as we can, which will help us prepare. We’re looking, of course, to get the (team) win at home.”
For more on the events, visit gocascades.ca.