Wrestler Kelsey Raab has completed her high school wrestling career with a silver medal at the Cadet Juvenile National Wrestling Championships April 4 to 7 in Saskatoon, Sask.
While she failed to win gold, Raab hopes to learn from the experience. Recuperating mentally is a challenge for her because of the time and energy she put into winning. She has placed every year, with a bronze medal in the first year and silver the last three years.
She lost in the first round against Vancouver wrestler Adrienne Lu in the 80 kg category and still has trouble talking about the loss. “I’ve wrestled her twice before.”
Lu has beaten Raab twice out of their three matches but the Ponoka wrestler knows there are lessons in the loss.
“I started good but didn’t finish it properly.”
At 18, she is now too old to compete in cadet/juvenile competitions and will now enjoy the summer wrestling camps available to her. Scouts from the University of Calgary who have approached her to join their team but nothing has been decided yet as it is still too early. Raab is somewhat nervous about what the future will hold. “Everything changes.”
However looking back at her last four years in wrestling, Raab describes the highlights of her high school competitions as the Pan American Games and the Cadet World Championships in Azerbaijan last year.
“Worlds was a lot more serious and in depth than the Pan American (games),” she said. “It showed me how mentally strong you have to be at that level.”
The majority of the work is mental — usually 70 or 60 per cent mental concentration and the rest is technique.
“I’m also proud of winning provincials all three years,” Raab said.
She will try out for Team Alberta that will compete in the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. Aug. 2 to 17. Tryouts are April 20 in Wetaskiwin.