Best 69 kg wrestler in AB heads to nationals

What began as an entertaining activity has turned into a dream for one teenage wrestler ranked number 1 in her weight category in the province who qualified this past weekend for a national competition.

Kelsey Raab will] head to the national wrestling competition April 8 to 11 for her 69 kg weight category. Raab is the best wrestler in Alberta for her category after coming out with gold in both the Junior Olympics in February and the Alberta Open this past weekend.

Kelsey Raab will] head to the national wrestling competition April 8 to 11 for her 69 kg weight category. Raab is the best wrestler in Alberta for her category after coming out with gold in both the Junior Olympics in February and the Alberta Open this past weekend.

By Jasmine Franklin

What began as an entertaining activity has turned into a dream for one teenage wrestler ranked number 1 in her weight category in the province who qualified this past weekend for a national competition.

“(When I won at the Alberta Open) I didn’t really know what to do,” said wrestler Kelsey Raab. “I still can’t believe it.”

At 15 years old, Raab never thought she would take wrestling to a national level. Now, she’s determined to win.

“I’m (really) nervous,” she said laughing. “I was really hoping I would qualify because I’ve worked so hard to get where I am.”

The Alberta Open competitions were held March 6 and 7 where Raab had to qualify for the national tournament. At a 69kg weight category, she was wrestling girls in 72kg and 80kg weight categories during exhibition rounds.

And she never lost a match, automatically sending her to the national competition April 8 to 11.

“She flattened all of them,” her excited mother, Brenda Raab, said.

“You may be small, but if you put your mind to it you can do anything you want to,” she said.

So what is up next for this upcoming wrestling star?

“Now we are in fundraiser mode,” Mrs. Raab said.

To compete at nationals, the family must raise $6,000 to cover travel costs, coaches and training.

Training in Wetaskiwin costs $25 per session. In preparation for the competition, she must train between three to four times every week,

Western Canadian Games

With her win at the Junior Olympics in February, Raab is the best in Alberta in her weight category and has been invited by the Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association to try out for the 2011 Western Canadian Games team.

“I don’t know what it is, but she’s found her niche’,”Mrs. Raab said.

The young wrestler made it clear wrestling was no longer just for fun.

“I’m hoping to make it to the 2016 Olympics,” Raab said.