A pair of local wrestlers made a step forward in their second trip to the national wrestling championships.
© submitted photo
Devin Kiryk, left, Vicki Busch and Kurtis Busch recently won medals at the SHSAA provincial high school wrestling championships.
They also both took a step onto the medal podium.
Devin Kiryk won a silver medal and Kurtis Busch won a bronze medal as they represented the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club at the Canadian Cadet Wrestling Championships in Guelph, Ont. this past weekend.
"Things went pretty well. I'm super-proud of myself and how I did," said Busch. "If I lost, I was happy and felt I fought well. I believe I did pretty good."
A year ago Kiryk finished third in his weight class and Busch finished in the bottom half of his weight class at Cadet nationals. They have both been working extremely hard this season and it showed with their improved standing.
This time around Kiryk finished second in the 54 kg Cadet weight class that featured 18 wrestlers. He won four straight bouts before losing 12-9 to Navdeep Dhillon from Abbotsford, B.C. in the final. Kiryk won all of his other matches 10-0.
Busch was in the 50 kg class and got off to a tough start. He tied Sam Garland from the Mariposa Wrestling Club in Orillia, Ont. 6-6, but lost the decision.
He rallied in the 18-wrestler field to win six straight bouts to win bronze. He beat Garland 8-0 to get to the bronze-medal bout where he beat Eknoor Bajwa from Abbotsford 4-0.
"I was proud to be able to wrestle at a national level," said Busch who felt that his experience from a year ago served him well and that being a second-year Cadet also played a part in his improvement.
Connor McNeice from the Cochrane Cowboys Wrestling Club won the 50 kg national title while another Cochrane, Alta. wrestler — Connor Cook — finished second.
Following the Cadet nationals the two local wrestlers also took part in the FILA trials. FILA is the governing body for international wrestling.
Busch finished third in the 50 kg competition and Kiryk was fourth in a very tough 54 kg category.
Callum McNeice, another Cochrane wrestler, won the 50 kg FILA title. Busch beat Cook, the national silver medalist, 12-6 and beat Cody Sheppard from Guelph 8-0 to finish 2-2 in the FILA competition.
"There were a lot of familiar faces and people I knew in that group," said Busch who lost to Callum McNeice in his first bout at the Canada Games where he finished fourth last summer. "I've known Charles Cook for awhile. He used to live in Saskatchewan, so I used to wrestle him at other tournaments that we have here."
Kiryk's category was incredibly close.
Rylee Leech from Barrie, Ont. won the 54 kg FILA tournament after finishing third earlier at nationals.
Kiryk beat Leech 10-0 in the FILA tournament, which was the same score he beat him at nationals, yet Kiryk finished fourth, while Leech won. Kiryk lost a close rematch to Dhillon 4-0 and also lost 6-3 to Torray Toribio form Vancouver. Kiryk beat Edmonton's Aidan Paetsch 4-0 to finish 2-2.
The pair will continue to train and Busch said there is a chance that they could compete in the Canada Cup or Grand Nationals in the United States later this year.