Olivia Rhodes, left, smiled with a gold medal around her neck next to USS teammate Caitlyn Midlane who proudly wore her silver at the Western Canada Age Class. (Mike Rhodes photo)

Olivia Rhodes, left, smiled with a gold medal around her neck next to USS teammate Caitlyn Midlane who proudly wore her silver at the Western Canada Age Class. (Mike Rhodes photo)

Young West Coast wrestlers refuse to let road closure pin them down

Ucluelet secondary wrestling team takes unique detour around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closure

The Ucluelet Secondary School Warriors didn’t let a rockslide get in their way of reaching the mainland and rocking the Western Canada Age Class wrestling tournament over the weekend as the team took an ocean detour around the highway closure.

“It was a pretty fun weekend actually. We had a good time. It was a bit of an adventure,” the team’s coach Mike Rhodes told the Westerly News. “The kids were awesome. They just rolled with it. They had their floater suits on in the boat and it was part of the adventure. They had a great time.”

READ MORE: Tofino-Ucluelet highway reopens after bridge installed earlier than expected

The team had expected to travel on Thursday, but awoke to the news that the highway was closed and they would not be able to leave town.

“I was talking to the parents on the team updating them and it turns out we did actually have a parent who had access to a boat so we thought we could do it,” he said.

He then reached out to Alberni District Secondary to see if ADSS had room on their team bus to travel to the mainland.

“It turned out they had just enough room to fit all of us that were going. So, we made the decision to jump in the boat and we took the boat from Ucluelet harbour all the way down to the [Alberni] Harbour Quay and the ADSS team bus met us down at Harbour Quay and we jumped on with them,” he said. “They didn’t even hesitate…I would say that all of the wrestling teams on Vancouver Island, we’re like a community really. We support each other as much as we compete against each other. So, when there’s a team in need other teams will step up and take kids and help out any way they can and this was just another example of that.”

READ MORE: Ucluelet wrestler ready to defend national crown

Unfazed by their unique commute, the USS team produced solid results with Olivia Rhodes earning gold, Owen Rhodes and Caitlyn Midlane earning silver and Evan Johansen earning a fourth place finish at the Western Canada Age Class tournament in Abbotsford, which featured wrestlers from across B.C. and Alberta.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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