Penticton’s Alyssa Kroeker put on her best performance to win the University of Alberta Golden Bears Invitation wrestling tournament, Feb.1.
Alyssa’s father and coach, Rob Kroeker said it was her best effort since she started the sport.
“It was an incredible performance. Her mind was right there. She was focused,” said Rob, coach of the Okanagan Similkameen Wrestling Club. “As a dad, extremely proud. As a coach, very happy with her performance. It’s not like I’m an easy coach. Everything I told her to do, she did.”
Matched up against Skyler Wedemire for the championship, Rob told Alyssa that he didn’t want it to be a close encounter. The end result was an 11-0 victory. Up to that point, Wedemire had pinned every one of her opponents. It was the same thing with Alyssa’s quarterfinal opponent, Alex Schell, the defending champion, who defeated Alyssa in the B.C. provincial championship last year. Alyssa, a Pen High student, got the best of her 13-8, in a match Rob described as a grinder. Alyssa ended the championship with four wins and her performance impressed the coach from the U of A, who invited her to train with them over spring break.
“They were all tough matches. All the matches were a scrap,” he said. “She’s bruised, battered and pretty sore.”
This weekend the club travels to Port Alberni for a tournament. They are also preparing for provincials at the end of this month and it’s expected that four members will compete.
Meanwhile, Drew Boileau and Rhys MacDonald of the Penticton Wrestling Club performed well during the Miri Piri Invitational in Abbotsford last weekend.
Both athletes won three of five matches.
MacDonald finished second in the 45-kilogram school division, while Boileau was fifth in the 66-kg weight class in the juvenile division.
“It was a great opportunity for the kids to get some real live matches,” said coach Tony Ramsay. “There’s nothing like being able to be in a live situation as opposed to a practice situation. It was a good experience allowing the kids to hone their skills.”
MacDonald was in a round robin draw and being one of the lighter competitors, Ramsay said it’s difficult to find opponents his size. Ramsay said it was a good test for him.
The wrestlers are preparing for the Thompson Okanagan Zones in Kamloops Feb. 15. The zone championships are the qualifying tournament for provincials in Prince George Feb. 27 to March 1.