Olympic-style wrestlers have returned home after a successful Wrestling New Zealand National Championship tournament in Tauranga over the weekend.
The prestigious best senior wrestler award went to Akash Kullar, from the Tawa Club just outside Wellington, who defeated Joshua Andrews from Counties in one of the best bouts to win the gold medal in the 74kg class.
The other senior champions were Ricky Welsford (57kg - Otago) Ben O'Brien (65kg - Rangiora) Andrew Orr (86kg - Rangiora) Barney Fitzpatrick (97kg - Hamilton) and Nico Muller (125kg - Rangiora).
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Tayla Ford from host club Mount Maunganui, was adjudged the best female wrestler, with her bouts giving her an ideal hit-out for the upcoming World Championships in Las Vegas.
Rangiora took out the Senior Team trophy with Mount Maunganui winning the Junior and Female team's awards. Te Awamutu won the top 10-13 year prize, Dilworth from Auckland finished first in the 14-16 year team's event with Rangiora taking home the Greco-Roman Team trophy.
"Mount Maunganui had a great tournament in introducing a lot of young wrestlers to top grade competition," said Mount Maunganui head coach Mark Grayling.
"The Mount female team were outstanding with Tayla Ford, Merinda Bramley and 12-year-old Ella Derry leading the way, with Tariro Chihota, Chanel Kavanagh and Ana Moceyawa wrestling extremely well at their first nationals."
Wrestling New Zealand Coach of the Year was awarded to Mark Grayling from Mount Maunganui.
10-13 year Wrestler Award: Rico Oliver (Counties Manukau).
14-16 year Wrestler Award: Storm Grobler (Auckland).
Junior Wrestler Award: Jordan Marshall (Hamilton).
Senior Wrestler Award: Akash Kullar (Tawa).
Senior Female Wrestler Award: Tayla Ford (Mount Maunganui).
Best Greco-Roman Performance: Brahm Richards (Auckland).
Best Freestyle Performance: Ben O'Brien (Timaru).
Greco-Roman Team winner: Rangiora.
10-13 year Team winner: Te Awamutu.
14-16 year Team winner: Dilworth.
Junior Team winner: Mount Maunganui.
Senior Team winner: Rangiora.
Female Team winner: Mount Maunganui.
Coach of the Year: Mark Grayling (Mount Maunganui).