By CHARLES TWEED
Kelsey Raab keeps wrestling the honors away from girls in Alberta.
Raab won the Alberta Open wrestling tournament in Edson, defeating all comers in her weight class.
“I pinned all three,” said Raab.
The gold medal adds to her already impressive lists of accomplishments that include a provincial title but the honors didn’t stop there.
First, her team —made up of only three girls — won the cadet banner. An astonishing feat considering other teams had double the number of competitors but a testament to wrestling in Strathcona. They defeated the Calgary junior Dinos by one point to take the honor.
Raab was named the most outstanding female wrestler in the cadet division. Of all the girls aged 15 to 16 in the province in all of the weight divisions from 44 kilograms up to 80 plus, she’s the best.
The award doesn’t only recognize the incredible results Raab has achieved this season but recognizes the staggering amount of work the Grade 10 student has done — in and out of the gym. She has committed 110 per cent to being the best female wrester she can be and that dedication has paid off this year.
“I’m training seven days a week, some weeks I’ll take a day off but with nationals coming up in two weeks, right now I’m training seven days a week,” said Raab.
She’s also been selected to tryout for Team Alberta, a prestigious honor. Raab isn’t afraid to pay the price in the gym to make the team but the team comes with a completely new set of costs.
If she makes the team, she is obligated to attend several camps that cost $500 each. The coaching and experience will be phenomenal but Raab has some work to do finding additional sponsorship.
Rip’n Ronnie’s Fitness currently sponsors Raab.
“Sheldon (Ronnie) has been awesome. He’s been so good helping with her core strength and with her diet. I can’t say enough good things,” said her father, Richard.
The Raab family will pack up next week to head to nationals in Windsor, Ont. and if all goes as planned, Raab will add to her already impressive trophy case.