Tiana Dykstra has won all kinds of impressive hardware over the years.
When the young 100 Mile House wrestler stood highest atop the podium in Prince George recently with a gold medal around her neck, however, it was as a provincial champion, and that one is a first.
Dykstra went 3-0 in the 43-kilogram division at the 2014 British Columbia Secondary Schools Wrestling Championships at Prince George Secondary School, Feb. 27-March 1.
After winning silver at provincials in two previous years, Dykstra “finally cracked it,” says coach Phil Johnston.
“With her national experience last year [at the 2013 Canada Summer Games], it helped her succeed this year. At most tournaments she went to, she dominated her opponents. At provincials, she dominated her weight class.”
Of the three matches in Prince George, Dykstra says the semifinals, against Meagan Chow of Burnaby, was the toughest.
“She always puts up a good fight. But I ended up beating her in points.”
In the finals, Dykstra won 12-0.
“I didn’t know what I was going into. I was nervous, but as the match got going, I felt more comfortable. I ended up not getting scored on.”
Nationals are set for April 4-6 in Guelph, Ont.
The goal now is for Dykstra to qualify as a national team member, meaning she has to finish top 2 in her weight class, Johnston says.
Dykstra, a Grade 10 student at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School, still has a couple more years of eligibility in high school wrestling championships.
“Now, the hard part is staying at the top,” Johnston says. “When you’re at the top, everyone shoots for you.”
Kody Kennedy also represented the 100 Mile Wrestling Club in Prince George.
At his first provincial tournament, the Grade 9 student went 1-2.
“Most kids go 0-2,” Johnston explains. “It was good for Kody.
“He had some really tough kids in his weight class. The kids he lost to both placed in the top 6.”