Peacock wrestlers win provincial gold medals

Matthew Gourlie
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Kiryk and Busch remain unbeaten in high school career

Kurtis Busch and Devin Kiryk are halfway to perfection.

Devin Kiryk, left, Vicki Busch and Kurtis Busch from Peacock earned medals at the SHSAA provincial high school wrestling championships this past weekend

The two Peacock wrestlers went unbeaten at the provincial high school wrestling championships in Saskatoon this weekend to claim Moose Jaw's only two gold medals.

Going unbeaten is nothing new to the two Grade 10 students since neither has ever lost a match at the high school level.

"That's a pretty amazing feat. Especially since, as Grade 9s, they were competing against Grade 10s, 11s and 12s," said Peacock coach Ward Strueby. "The future looks good for these two boys. I'm involved with the club as well and they do their club provincials next weekend as well."

Busch won gold in the male 50 kg class and Kiryk won the male 53 kg category.

Moose Jaw sent 20 wrestlers to the SHSAA provincials. Seventeen of them came from Peacock, while Vanier sent two wrestlers and Assiniboia one.

Peacock's Vicki Busch finished second in the female 53 kg category. It's her fourth provincial medal as she finishes off her high school career. Cortni Dixon (female 60 kg) was fourth and Moira Morhart (female 105 kg) was fifth.

Peacock's girls were in the 3A division and finished second behind Notre Dame.

Peacock's Spencer Nancarrow (male 82 kg) finished fourth.

The Peacock boys competed in 4A due to a larger population and finished sixth.

"We're really young as a group," said Strueby "We're getting closer."

Each division featured a dozen wrestlers and the top-six finishers earn points for their school.

"In terms of placement for team points, we had a ton of wrestlers, especially girls. who finished just outside of that top six," said Strueby. "They were one match away from moving on."

For Kiryk and Kurtis Busch the high school titles were satisfying, but they're continuing to push themselves to be better.

"I'm really happy with how I wrestled. It was a good weekend," said Kiryk.

"I'm pushing myself to compete at higher levels. My goal is to make the worlds team, the Pan-Ams team or even the team for the Youth Olympics. That's my goal. That's what keeps me motivated."

If Kiryk has a successful Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association provincials in Regina this weekend he would advance to nationals the first weekend of April. The day after nationals is the FILA competition which would qualify him to attend worlds. The Pan-American championships qualify wrestlers for the second Summer Youth Olympic Games being held in China in August.

The pair train at the University of Regina twice a week and practice with the Cougars varsity team on a weekly basis to sharpen up their skills and give them a taste of higher-level competition.

"It's really tough and you learn a lot," said Kiryk.

"I have great coaches and I have a lot of great peers," said Busch. "I've been going to the U of R for three years now.

"It's better competition. I get to learn from guys who have been in the sport for longer than me and I get to learn how they think, how they train and how they work as an athlete."

Busch did get pushed at SHSAA provincials as he battled Daniel Amberson from Regina Campbell in the final. He beat the Grade 11 wrestler 12-2.

"I wrestled him last year and for the last two years we had really tough matches and I've always been able to pull in front and be the better athlete," said Busch. "My whole weight class was good competition. There were some well-trained people."

Kiryk beat Eric Alarcon from Regina O'Neill by fall 1:33 in.

Organizations: Pan-Ams, Youth Olympics, Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association University of Regina

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, China

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