UPDATED FEB. 28:
It was a banner day for three Burnaby athletes last week at the B.C. high school wrestling championships took the floor in Langley.
Senior Sam Steele led a strong St. Thomas More team that collected its share of medals at the two-day event, en route to fourth overall in team aggregate.
Steele defeated Delview’s Chiragpreet Mattu in the 110-kilogram final for his gold. Also securing gold were Amanda Silveri, with a quick pin of Chemainus’ Emily Reid in the girls 110kg (see follow-up story), and Burnaby Central’s Tanisha Johal, who toppled Lillooet’s Lakiesha Jacob for the top award in girls 40kg.
"Tanisha had a good match in her final," recalled Burnaby Cental coach Gianni Buono of the Grade 9 grappler. "She competed really well and put 10 points on (her opponent). She was really determined."
Picking up silver medals were Burnaby North’s Gina Bolognese, whose only loss came in her 43kg final to Notre Dame’s Toni Medeiros, Burnaby Mountain’s Marley Jackson, who finished second to South Island’s Kiana Shaw in 51kg, and STM’s Clare Scagione, runner-up to Maple Ridge’s Marquesis Haintz in 54kg.
On the boys side, Burnaby Central’s Dylan Duggan grabbed silver in his showdown against defending champion Surrey Academy’s Owen Martin. The past two years Duggan finished fifth, but this time around he defeated a defending champion -- who had moved up a weight class -- in the semifinal and was within a few points of Martin before the match turned.
"He had a tough match-up against (Martin), but it was really close," noted Buono. "After the first round it was just a two-point difference, but it slipped away in the second round."
Registering third-place results were, for the girls, STM’s Gabriella Bellini (64kg) and Ayesha Mian (43kg), and New Westminster’s Willow Bayea (90kg).
The Hyacks’ Daniel Dordevic placed third in the senior boys 130kg event. Posting a fourth-place result was Moscrop’s Ahmed Abouelenin in 74kg.
The Knights’ girls side placed second overall in team points, five back of first place Maple Ridge. STM’s overall fourth showing was just six points back of second-place Maple Ridge.
In fifth place were: Erna Armstrong (f43kg), Sanna Bhayana (f51kg), Bruce Malla (m41kg), Arashk Rasti (m66kg), Burnaby Central; Matteo Lucarelli (m70kg), Moscrop; Logan Stimson (f64kg), STM.
In sixth place: Isabella Liang (51kg), Crouxificio Peloso (m130kg), STM.