Hundreds of young athletes from all over the province are set to the mats at the Ag-Rec Building on Saturday for the 14th annual Miri Piri Wrestling Championship.
The event features boys and girls from Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 12, with 12 weight divisions or more in each age group.
Senior boys (Grade 10 to 12), girls (Grade 8 to 12), junior boys (Grade 8 and 9) and schoolboy (Grade 6 and 7) all kick off at 10 a.m., with elementary boys and girls (Grade 1 to 5) getting underway at 11:30 a.m.
Division finals are expected to wrap up in the late afternoon.
The event is sanctioned by the British Columbia Wrestling Association and the BC Wrestling Officials Association, and modified freestyle rules are adopted from BC Wrestling.
Last year’s event saw the W.J. Mouat Hawks capture the Miri Piri team trophy after nine athletes collected a total of 56 total points. The Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School Titans also had a strong showing at the event, finishing fifth overall.
The event is named after Abbotsford’s Miri Piri Wrestling Club, which has been training young grapplers since 1996.
In other local wrestling news, several UFV Cascades wrestlers earned medals at the Alberta Golden Bears Invitational event in Edmonton on Saturday.
The Cascades brought five medals home from Edmonton, highlighted by a gold medal for Jason Bains and a silver for Karan Dhillon.
There were just two entrants in Bains’s weight class, the men’s 100 kilogram, and he was dominant, defeating Steven Sheppard of the Calgary Dinos by technical superiority (10-0).
Dhillon posted a 3-1 record in the men’s 90 kg round robin. His three victories came in impressive fashion, all by technical superiority, and his lone loss was to reigning Canada West champ Hunter Lee of the Saskatchewan Huskies.
UFV wrestlers Sunny Benning, Ali Rahguzar and Calista Espinosa all earned bronze medals at the event.
The Mid Valley Athletic Club, which helps to fund the UFV wrestling program, is also hosting the Western Age Class Wrestling Championships at UFV from Jan. 24 to 26.
The event is the major fundraising activity to help support and continue the wrestling program at UFV. Extra monies donated will go towards scholarships for next year. Anyone interested in helping out in some capacity can contact Ron Sweeney at Ronald.Sweeney@ufv.ca.