Christ the King continues reign at wrestling championship

Christ the King Elementary has another banner to pin on the gym wall after its students pinned opponents to the mat.

Christ the King Elementary has another banner to pin on the gym wall after its students pinned opponents to the mat.

The Whitehorse school won the overall title for the fifth year in a row at the Yukon Elementary Wrestling Championships on April 19 at the Canada Games Centre.

“The kids worked hard all year, we started early and practiced twice a week,” said Christ the King coach Ron Billingsley. “The kids had fun, worked hard, and we ended up getting the trophy a fifth year in a row.”

As usual, Christ the King marched a large army in for the championship, bringing 83 wrestlers — more than a quarter of the school’s student body.

They captured a total of 44 medals, with gold medal wins from Ryan Sage, AJ Boyd, Dominic Lefebvre, Kaelan Basnett, Jonny Timmons, Elijah Morrison, Eban Basnett, Ave Maria Stoke-Burns, Hannah Maclellan, Adrianna Sidney, Glorie Alfonso, Jaymi Hinchey, Talia Campbell, Lia Hinchey and Lucy Aasman.

“A lot of our kids are four or five years into the program. It’s fun to see them progress and get better each year,” said Billingsley.

“I’m happy with my Grade 7s. It could be their last wrestling tournament ever. There’s no wrestling in high school, so I’m always happy to see my Grade 7s finish the day with a medal.”

The string of five wins for Christ the King comes with a string of second place finishes for Holy Family Elementary. Holy Family, who brought a team of 75 on Wednesday, placed second overall a fifth year in a row. The school won the overall title every year between 2007 and 2012.

“Christ the King and Holy Family have been very close competitors every year,” said championship organizer and Holy Family coach Ted Hupe. “We were four medals away from Christ the King … so that’s how close this year’s standings were. I’m very proud of both Christ the King and us for being such good competitors. Performance-wise, we were right beside each other; we were both performing at the same level.”

Whitehorse Elementary School took third place in the overall points standings.

Ecole Emilie-Tremblay produced its best finish this year. The Whitehorse French school won the best performing trophy — given to the team with the greatest points-to-wrestlers ratio — for the first time.

“I think everybody is happy,” said Emilie-Tremblay coach Emilie Dessureault. “They start training in phys-ed class and this year we started after spring break. So we had three practices a week and we only started after spring break. We usually started earlier (but) we didn’t have time this year. There were too many things going on.”

Emilie-Tremblay’s team of 24 wrestlers took in 15 medals, including gold medals from Raphael Langlois, Louis Mouchet, Simon Connel, Gabriel Racine and Felix Mason.

The school placed fifth in best performing in 2014 and placed third — in best performing and overall — in 2015.

“All our students were very motivated because last year we didn’t get to participate,” said Dessureault. “It was our 30th anniversary, so we didn’t come to the tournament. All of our team was very happy to come this year and they were looking forward to it.”

Yukon Montessori School took second in best performing, up from third place last year. The Whitehorse school won the title in 2014.

Haines Junction’s St. Elias Community School finished in third place.

The annual championship remains the largest elementary school wrestling tournaments, with a one-day format, in the Canada, said Hupe.

A total of 475 wrestlers registered for the event that saw 1,225 matches take place on 20 mats. Every Whitehorse elementary school was represented, as were Watson Lake’s Johnson Elementary, Dawson City’s Robert Service School and Carcross’ Ghuch Tla Community School.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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