Vanderhoof wrestlers make finals

First time in 18 years Vanderhoof has seen a provincial wrestling champion.

(Back row) Jesse Raymond

Four wrestlers from Nechako Valley Secondary School (NVSS) have qualified for nationals.

During the 50th annual BC Championship provincial tournament Feb. 27-28, Sarah Ebert won a silver in the girls 69 kg, Addison Miller-Gauthier won fourth in the girls 38 kg, Jesse Raymond won 4th in 78 kg, and Jennor Nohr won gold in the 90 kg. Nearly 80 schools were in attendance with 13 athletes from NVSS who competed in a variety of weight classes. NVSS saw top results from the four athletes who had top six finishes qualifying them for the national tournament in Fredericton April 8.

Since Sarah already had a family vacation booked and Addison is too young, only Jesse and Jennor will move onto nationals next month, Travis Himmilright said, NVSS wrestling coach.  

“[Jennor] is the first provincial champion since 1996 and this is the top result for NVSS with four podium finishes,” Travis Himmilright, NVSS wrestling coach, said in an email interview. “The wrestling provincials are not separated by A, AA, AAA, AAAA Championships. To place 7th (mens) in the province is an achievement given we compete against, and beat, the largest schools in the province.”

Overall the team placed seventh and sixth in aggregate (combined mens and women’s). NVSS is now the top placing team in the province from outside of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Next year the team will lose Jennor Nohr and Sarah Ebert as they will head off to University. Jennor has received interest from University of Alberta and University of Saskatchewan but hopes to attend Simon Fraser University and compete in the NCAA American Division 2, a tough squad to get onto, Himmilright said.

NVSS wrestling athletes will continue to train through March and the two wrestlers going to nationals will be fund-raising over the next few weeks.

“The cost of nationals is quite a burden so anyone willing to sponsor these athletes would be very welcomed,” Himmilright said.

The junior Vikes (elementary) program will start up again next October. This season nearly 40 kids came to NVSS to train each Wednesday. The high school program included over 25 athletes from Gr 7-12 and the NVSS team will likely be a force in wrestling for many years to come, Himmilright said.

“The team has been performing very well all season. The podium finishers could not have had the successful season without the support of the team.  We had 13 NVSS wrestlers compete in the 50th Annual BC Championships, ten of which will be returning next year.  Thanks also to the terrific support and encouragement of the coaching staff, Jeff Verduzko and Sean Ebert as we are very proud of the team’s efforts and performance this season,” Himmilright said.

 

 

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