Things just keep getting better and better for the Salmon Arm Secondary high school wrestling team.
The annual B.C. High School Wrestling Championship took place last weekend in Abbotsford.
SAS took 18 wrestlers to the tournament and achieved their best-ever showing.
The Salmon Arm grapplers have produced results in the past, but none as successful as this year.
Last year in Prince George, there were no medals but three girls made it to the podium finishing sixth.
This year, SAS had four wrestlers on the podium.
Winning the gold for Salmon Arm was Serena Boehme, who dominated her opponent, Amanda Silveri of St. Thomas More Academy in New Westminster, pinning her in the first round.
Shaylyn Steiger won gold in her first year of competition and followed up over the next two years with a silver medal, another gold, and a national championship.
Coach Ray Munsie points out that this is not a small accomplishment as the relatively new program is growing and learning to come to terms with higher levels of competition not found in their zone, except in isolated individuals and those not necessarily in the weight classes that are able to be filled.
At provincials there were several returning medallists including some national champions.
Reid McInnes finished 6th in the 57 kilogram division, which was the most contested weight class in the tournament.
The eventual winner, Torrey Toribio was voted the outstanding wrestler of the entire tournament.
Colin Robinson and Rohan Kafle finished fourth in the 41kg and 45kg weight divisions respectively.
McInnes, Kafle, and Boehme are all first-year wrestlers.
All of the Salmon Arm coaches are absolutely thrilled with the results.
“It’s one thing to make the podium in weight classes like the 38kg division where almost all the wrestlers are in Grade 8 or 9. It’s quite another to make the podium when they are 15-years-old and in a weight class filled with 17- and 18-year-old seniors,” says Munsie.
“We won’t lose a single wrestler to graduation this year. The only thing standing between us and the upper echelon teams in this province is experience and about 20 more kids.”
With no wrestlers graduating and the middle school now having a program, Munsie says things are indeed looking bright for the wrestling future at SAS.