Provincial medals could be start of bigger things

Matthew Gourlie
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Young wrestlers fare well at Pupsel

For some local wrestlers, their provincial medal was the culmination of a great season.

Devin Kiryk, right, competing at the Canada Games this past summer.

For others it is hopefully a springboard to far greater things this season.

The Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club saw six of their eight wrestlers return home with medals at the Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association (SAWA) Cadet/Juvenile provincials.

As expected Kurtis Busch and Devin Kiryk came home with cadet gold medals after they won high school provincial titles the week before. Busch won in the 50 kg category and Kiryk in the 56 kg class.

"They've been training hard. They have the goal of doing well at nationals and this is just a stepping block for them," said coach Kelly Busch from the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club. "I was pretty impressed with how they wrestled. They didn't have too many matches, but they wrestled well."

In the cadet girls, Rebecca Barnett finished second in the 56 kg class just ahead of club mate Kayla Martin. JoLynn Robart was third in the 65 kg category. Cortni Dixon was third in the juvenile 60 kg category.

"We had a couple of young girls come out — JoLynn Robart and Rebecca Barnett — and they did very well. They're first-year wrestlers. Our program has done really well with the younger kids and it's growing well that way. We had a few kids that surprised me and those were the ones that we took to provincials because we knew that they would do well there," said Busch.

T.J. Busch was fourth in the cadet 63 kg class and Gavin Wilders was sixth in the juvenile 69 kg category.

"TJ had a really tough weight class. The competition level there is strong. It's really good because he gets thrown into a lot of competition at all times," said Busch.

T.J. Busch, Kurtis Busch, Devin Kiryk and Vicki Busch will all compete at the Canadian Cadet and Juvenile nationals from Apr. 4-6 in Guelph, Ont. Vicki Busch, 17, a last-year juvenile was injured and didn't compete at SAWA provincials as she rested up for nationals.

"It's a big year for them," said Busch. "If they do well at the nationals they get to go on to the FILA nationals which is on the Sunday. If they do well at the FILA nationals they have opportunities — depending on the weight classes — to go to the Pan-Am Games, the worlds or the Youth Olympics, depending on how they do at those two tournaments."

While winning provincial titles at SAWA and in high school were strong achievements for Kiryk, he has been pushing himself hard to see how much he can achieve this season.

"Kurt, T.J. and Vicki — we have great expectations for them," said Busch. "Devin is the one who has been training the hardest. We all hope they (advance), but he's the one who has been going hardcore, so we're hoping to see a lot out of him this year."

T.J. and Kurtis Busch and Kiryk are all cadet wrestlers.

*  *  *  *

Also last weekend the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club saw 13 of their wrestlers come home with medals from the Saskatoon Pupsel tournament in Warman.

Tony Cushway won gold in his bantam weight class.

Kayden Barber, Landon Campbell and Reed Bistretzan each earned silver medals in the pee wee age group.

Drew Cushway won gold in the novice category and Colby Cushway earned a silver.

Brynn Kell won her freshie category, while Kayde Kell, Walker Strueby and Tayden Hardwicke won gold in their freshie boys weight classes. Zack Chow and Payton Kell won silver medals as freshies, while Kaleb McCrystal won a bronze and Luke Bryant finished fourth.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association, Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club, Canadian Cadet Youth Olympics

Geographic location: Guelph, Warman

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