Raab pushing for wrestling records

Kelsey Raab is in a position to set wrestling records this year.

Kelsey Raab may be the first wrestler to win three open provincials and three rural provincials in consecutive years.

Kelsey Raab may be the first wrestler to win three open provincials and three rural provincials in consecutive years.

Kelsey Raab is in a position to set wrestling records this year. The freestyle wrestler has won three rural provincials — one for each of grades 10, 11 and 12.

She has also won open provincials for grades 10 and 11 and coach Glenn Purych feels she has a solid chance again this year. It would be the first time anyone has won both rural and open provincials three years in a row, he stated. “She’s started cranking things harder.”

Raab practices four times a week in Edmonton and sometimes more. Purych appreciates how dedicated the Ponoka wrestler is to her sport. He also is proud of what residents have done for her.

“She’s been getting a lot of support from Ponoka…It’s a really neat thing to watch for myself,” he said.

Raab just returned from rural provincials in High River Feb. 22 and 23 and Purych believes she didn’t wrestle more than two minutes over the course of the weekend. She is taking it one match at a time though and feels, “pretty good. Pretty solid. I have a good coach.”

This year Raab has been wrestling not only at the high school level. “This year I’ve done more university tournaments compared to last year.”

She has had to battle two injuries. The first happened at the Cadet World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan last year where she tore an infraspinatus muscle, which is attached to her rotator cuff.

A month after healing from the injury, Raab bruised her collarbone and supraspinatus, another muscle near her rotator cuff. She is still healing from that injury but is able to do push ups again. “You push through it.”

Open provincials are March 8 and 9, these are at the high school level. Raab is also going to compete in the nationals in Fredericton, N.B. from March 21 to 24; this is a university level competition. “It’s big.”

To prepare for the university nationals Raab is exercising daily and training as much as she can with her coach.

“It’s a completely different type of toning,” she stated.

Raab also intends to try out for the Canada Summer Games scheduled for Aug. 2 to 17 in Sherbrooke, Que.