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High school wrestlers post dominant results

Moose Jaw competitors see series of top three placings at Wolverine Scratch and Claw
It's been quite the start to the season for Moose Jaw high school wrestlers.

Not only are members of the club winning regularly, they're doing it en masse – to the point that result sheets are filled with little more than podium finishes. Take the most recent Wolverine Scratch and Claw meet in Warman, where local competitors picked up five first-place finishes in the Elite division to go along with 16 top-three showings in total.

What that translates into down the road when it comes to regionals and even provincials is yet to be seen, but coach Sophie Rosso is hoping to see a banner year for her charges.

“Isn't that incredible?” she replied when asked the high finishes. “And it's all happening in the Elite division, and some of them are first year Elite as well, so they did really, really well... This is a really good snapshot of our regionals and what me might see there, so we might be looking at some really good results there. So we're really pleased, especially with the Elite and how well they're doing.”

Taking first place out of Warman were Liam Vargo (53-55 kilograms), Kyle Yamniuk (61-64), Davin Miller (63-67), Ethan La Rose (69-70), Connor Rowsell (89-94). Finishing second were Hannah Watts (female 71-75), Myra Szabo (female 76-83), Dylan Yamniuk (71-75), Kayde Shymko (80-82) and Kaeden Utley (89-94). Third-place finishers were Miheret Cridland (52-53), Makayla Holmes (56-61) and Kassandra Loucks (60-64) in the Elite Female class, Brayden Johnson (80-82) and Dalton Taylor (93-99) in Elite Male.

While the majority of the team competes out of Peacock, a handful of competitors are taking the mats out of other schools. That's made little difference when it comes to camaraderie, though, as Rosso saw at the Scratch and Claw.

“I think one of the best things we saw the whole weekend was Brayden Johnson from Central having a match, and I looked over and there were like 25 kids in the corner just cheering for them, and almost all of them were from Peacock,” she said. “So it's gone beyond just being part of schools at this point, it's part of the whole team and that's amazing.”

The Novice division also saw a handful of interesting showings – three first place, three second place and three thirds – led by Ryann Handley's first-place performance in the female 59-63 division.

“She's in Grade 12 and she's a champion figure skater and in both competitions she's been in she's taken gold,” Rosso said with a tone of amazement. “She's just amazing... she doesn't tire out there and her conditioning is incredible. So it's great to see her doing so well.”

Jordan Wikman (67-73) and Gauge Adams took (85-92) took first in their Novice men's classes while Alexis Bradish (female 59-63), Tessa Petruic (female 79-83) and Tanner Stelwagen (67-73) were all second and Paige Lidberg (female 62-64), Sydnee Christmann (68-71) and Tessa Petruic finished third.

Next up for the local competitors is their own Moose Jaw tournament, which takes place the Feb. 9 and will feature 240 wrestlers from all over the province.

“It's not the fringe sport that it was when I first started helping out with it, it ranks among football and basketball with how competitive the kids are and they're really making a place for themselves among the sports in town,” Rosso said. “And there are a lot of young kids coming in, too, we have a good mix of young and old and that's nice to have, for sure.”

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