PHSS wrestler Quinton Wamiss tries to escape a head-and-shoulder hold by teammate Dusty Cadwallader as the two practice Monday for next week's Provincial Championships.

PHSS wrestler Quinton Wamiss tries to escape a head-and-shoulder hold by teammate Dusty Cadwallader as the two practice Monday for next week's Provincial Championships.

Medal wins earn championship berths

Port Hardy Secondary School wrestlers Graeme Wiggins, Dusty Cadwallader and Quinton Wamiss each earned silver medals

Port Hardy Secondary School wrestlers Graeme Wiggins, Dusty Cadwallader and Quinton Wamiss each earned silver medals and provincial championship berths during the Vancouver Island High School Wrestling Championships, held last week at Dover Bay Secondary in Nanaimo.

The three were among seven PHSS grapplers who competed in the Island tournament.

Cadwallader, Wamiss and Wiggins will travel to compete in the Feb. 23-25 B.C. High School Championships in Penticton.

“All the wrestlers wrestled great,” PHSS coach Joe Humphrey said.

“Some of the weight classes were more difficult than others, but it was a good tournament.”

Wiggins, seeded third at 78-kg, reached the finals before falling to defending champ and likely provincial favourite Colin Hines of Alberni Valley.

Cadwallader, seeded second at 90-kg, also made it to the championship match and lost by decision to top-seeded Gobind Singh-Sall of Cowichan.

“Dusty’s match was much closer than most people anticipated,” said Humphrey.

“He almost upset the No. 1 seed.”

Wamiss, a Grade 9 student in just his second year of wrestling, reached the 110-over kg final and took silver to qualify for provincials as a junior.

Also competing at the Island Championships were David Darnell in the 63-kg class, and Mitchell Walker, Jack Van Graven and Liam Scott, all at 66-kg.

“That was probably the toughest weight class,” Humphrey said of the 66-kg bracket.

“There were more than 16 wrestlers competing for four (provincial) spots, and all three of our guys are in their first year of wrestling.”

It’s been a busy past month for the PHSS program. Three weeks ago, the team traveled to the Campbell River Invitational, where Wamiss won gold, Wiggins claimed silver and Cadwallader and Van Graven each won bronze medals.

The following week the team traveled to the Alberni Valley Invitational, a high-calibre meet Humphrey described as a virtual provincial preview. Wamiss won bronze and Cadwallader and Wiggins both earned podium spots with top-6 finishes.