Kiana Shew is going out on top as she and her sister Zena are B.C. wrestling champions.
Each won gold at the B.C. Secondary School Sports provincials in Langley from Feb. 17 to 19.
The win caps off a great high school wrestling career, said Kiana, who is in her Grade 12 year, and who won the award for the Most Outstanding Female Match of the tournament.
“This provincial gold medal was the best way for me to go out,” Kiana said. “My dream for this season was to stand on the top of the podium, and it happened. It was a long, tough road, but winning that gold, and putting everything I had on the mat made it all worth it.”
Kiana competed in the 51-kilogram division and defeated Ivy Threatful of Maple Ridge secondary by a score of 10-4 in their final. Zena, in Grade 10, competed in the 47 kgs division and defeated Marley Jackson of Burnaby Mountain secondary by pinning her in the finals with a score of 2-0.
It’s the third provincial title for Zena, who can still compete in two more.
“Since it was my sister’s last provincials I think that we enjoyed it to the fullest and with the results it couldn’t have been better,” Zena said. “We both trained extremely hard for this and I think that our hard work paid off.”
As home-schooled students the duo competed for the South Island Distance Education School (SIDES). Though there were just two on the team, the sisters racked up enough points together for SIDES to finish fourth amongst teams.
“Winning the provincial champion title along with my sister was the best feeling,” Kiana said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me and pushed me in this journey, especially to my mom, dad, and sister.”
Kiana also has two national titles in Greco-Roman wrestling and both will compete at nationals again this spring.
In their corner for matches was mom/coach Michiyo Shew, who played a big part in their training, as well as training with them, and elevating them to their highest potential, said dad Brian.
The Shews are dedicating the gold medals to retired coach Ed Ashmore who trained them with the Victoria Commonwealth Bulldogs school team until he retired in 2017. They also credit Frank Mensah of Coast Wrestling as the main reason they started wrestling when they were quite young.
“Frank saw them at a martial arts tournament and told them they need to get into wrestling,” Brian said.
This year the sisters travelled two to three times per week up to Duncan to train with Nick Zuback and the coaches of Cowichan Wrestling who were influential, and who also cornered the sisters in many of the matches at provincials.