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The team, represented by five boys and two girls, normally do very well at this tournament and kept that streak alive with an extremely successful outing. After the tournament, the Fort St. John club had one top ten finish, one sixth place finish, a bronze medal, two silver medals and one gold.

Five of the seven competitors also qualified for the Canadian National Wrestling Championships, which will take place in Fredericton, NS from April 13-16.

In her second year on the team and first time competing in this tournament, Taylor Mcloud showed great skill, outsmarting her opponents on the way to a gold medal finish. In the first round of her gold medal match, she secured her victory in overtime. During the second round, Mcloud upped the pressure, constantly attacking until taking her competitor down with a single led take down and finishing the pin.

Rookie sensation Darryl McGinnis had a dominant outing, completely crushing his opponents en route to the finals, earning pins in every one of his matches. The tournament took an unfortunate twist for McGinnis in the finals, as he suffered a separated shoulder in his gold medal match.

In between rounds, McGinnis displayed his toughness and determination, telling head coach Paul Kalas that he “thinks his shoulder is injured but wants to keep wrestling.” After a quick examination by coach Kalas and first aid attendants, it was decided to call the match, much to the dismay of McGinnis. However, the rookie did earn himself a silver medal, and should be back on the mat in a few weeks, just in time to compete in the B.C. School North Central Zone Championships.

Team Captain Conner White also earned himself some silverware, using his strength and technique to take home a silver medal, outscoring his opponents 25-3, and even pulling off a WWE style suplex in the semi finals.

The bronze medal was awarded to Devon Shelkie, who, despite beginning his tournament with a couple losses, managed to regroup for a successful day two. Shelkie dominated the remainder of the tournament, earning a couple quick pins in his matches. It was Shelkie’s first medal at such an important event.

Braiden Macdougall finished the tournament in sixth place, earning himself a spot in nationals. Macdougall earned his entry in style, winning his final match of the tournament with only seconds remaining. Down two points, he showed great determination, earning the victory with three seconds left on the clock.

Finishing in the top ten was Austin Burkhoulder, who missed qualifying by one match, unfortunately suffering an elbow injury in his second to last match. Despite a gutsy performance of wrestling through the pain, Burkhoulder fell one point short of winning his final match, and was unable to qualify for the nationals.

After a successful qualifying tournament, the Fort St. John Wrestling Club is confident and looking forward to the upcoming National Wrestling Tournament. The team is looking for sponsors to help get them out to the east coast, as well as volunteers to help with coaching. If interested in either of these ideas, or have any questions regarding the wrestling club, please contact head coach Paul Kalas at 250-794-8207.

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