Christ the King, Selkirk lock up wrestling titles

A school picked up its fourth straight banner and another its first ever at the Yukon Wrestling Championships on Wednesday at the Canada Games Centre.

A school picked up its fourth straight banner and another its first ever at the Yukon Wrestling Championships on Wednesday at the Canada Games Centre.

Whitehorse’s Christ the King Elementary won the overall title a fourth year in a row while Whitehorse’s Selkirk Elementary won the best performing title at the event that saw 428 wrestlers, representing 12 Yukon schools, compete in about 1,150 matches.

“We’re thinking we’re the largest wrestling team in Canada. No exact stats on that, but we’re pretty sure. It’s the largest wrestling tournament and we bring the largest team here and we’re thinking we could be the largest wrestling team in Canada,” said Christ the King coach Ron Billingsley. “Almost a third of our school is in wrestling. It’s a big deal at our school.”

“So many kids are involved in it, they invite their friends to come. They want to hang out with their friends and participate together,” he added. “It’s just a good event for our school. All the kids get together and they have fun at it and that’s why it’s so big.”

Christ the King pinned its fourth straight title with 21 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze.

Having the largest team with 90 competitors definitely helps, but having an experienced team is also an advantage.

“I think this is the first year our Grade 7s have been wrestling since Grade 2,” said Billingsley. “We’ve had the program in place for so long now the ones that started in Grade 2 are now in Grade 7. So they’re very experienced and obviously that helps us with our success.”

Holy Family Elementary placed second overall with six gold, 12 silver and eight bronze. It was the fourth year in a row the Whitehorse school placed second, but it has its fair share of banners having won the overall title every year between 2007 and 2012.

Whitehorse’s Elijah Smith Elementary came in third with six gold, seven silver and 12 bronze. Elijah Smith is one of just a few schools to have placed in both categories, taking third overall in 2014 and second in best performing in 2013.

Selkirk Elementary’s win in best performing – given to the team with the greatest points-to-wrestlers ratio – didn’t come without a lot of hard work, said the team’s coaches.

“It’s a pretty big deal, we’re pretty excited about it,” said Selkirk coach Brian Larnder. “We’ve been working hard for two months.”

“We have practices twice a week and the kids have to come to every single one,” said assistant coach Nicole Rusnak. “We had a really high turnout for our school. We brought 18 students here today and some of our students medaled, some of them didn’t, but everyone obviously did a very god job today.”

Selkirk won best performing – a division that often favours smaller teams – with a third of its 18 wrestlers bagging hardware. The team claimed five bronze and one silver.

“Foster (Brassard) won a silver medal, but it was a very tough competition with that group,” said Larnder. “He did really well for us.

“We had a bit of a turnover with our group, so some of our older wrestlers didn’t come back this year. We had a lot of rookies on the squad and they really came through for us.”

“We found a lot of our younger students were wrestling students who are much older than them because it’s all based on their weight,” said Rusnak. “So the adversity our students faced was they were younger and had less experience than some of the other wrestlers. So we’re just very proud of what they were able to do, especially being fairly new to the sport.”

Hidden Valley, which won the trophy in 2012, placed second with 13 medals. Yukon Montessori School placed third, down from a second place finish last year and first place in 2014, with 15 medals on Wednesday.

“This year’s tournament was successful again in thanks to the Holy Family school for helping us out, particularly Tirza Spencer and Lional Colaci. Without them this tournament would not have been successful,” said Marc Senecal, president of the Yukon Schools Athletic Association. “Another huge thank you to Rob Langmaid, who was our head official, and big thank yous to all the parent volunteers, wranglers and referees.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read