Campbell River had an outstanding performance at the 2014 BC High School Wrestling Championships which wrapped up Saturday in Prince George.
Brett Nelson of Timberline Secondary won the first Male Provincial Title from Campbell River in 12 years.
Nelson dominated his way to the 60 kg finals where he faced Safi Sharrar, a Burnaby wrestler to whom he had lost earlier this year.
Rather than avoiding the rematch, Nelson specifically chose to wrestle this weight in order to even the score with Sharrar.
In the finals, with his parents in attendance, Nelson confidently avenged the loss, defeating Sharrar 12-2.
For Nelson, who has been wrestling since Grade 5 and has placed 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, at previous championships, it was a dream come true.
“I have gone to bed every night picturing myself winning that championship,” he said afterwards. “Sometimes when you wait a long time for something it isn’t as fulfilling as you expected…this is not one of those times.”
Nelson is currently exploring his options to pursue wrestling at the post-secondary level.
Carihi had the breakout star of the tournament in Grade 10 wrestler Ali McPhee.
Coming into the tournament McPhee had been undefeated all year long in B.C. She kept her streak alive bye winning four straight matches at 64kg and claiming her first provincial title.
In the finals she won a close match 6-4.
“I just wanted to improve on my placing from last year,” she said, “I’m so happy, I can’t stop smiling.”
Timberline wrestler Conlan Foy overcame a serious injury in the 51kg semi-final, wrestling his way to a bronze medal finish on a severely sprained ankle.
“The doctor’s said he was good to go and that was all he needed,” said his coach, Paul Murphy. “It is one of the gutsiest performances I have seen at this tournament,” he added.
Rounding out the results with 5th place finishes were Timberline’s Dawson Mckay, and Carihi’s Hailey Dean.
“They have worked so hard. Not just this year, but in the years leading up to this,” said Jason Kerluck, a Carihi coach who’s also president of the Campbell River Wrestling Association. “It is very satisfying to see all that effort pay off.”
Next up for the wrestlers are the National Championships, taking place April 4-6 in Guelph, Ontario.