Drew Persson of Eckville, with her coach Adam Laporte, won gold in the Greco 69 kg category in Edmonton at the U17 / U19 Canadian Wrestling Championships earlier this month. (Facebook photo)

Local wrestler wins gold at Canadian Championships

Drew Persson earned a national wrestling title in Edmonton earlier this month

Drew Persson had a razor-sharp focus all season long and it finally paid off when it mattered most.

The 18-year-old became a national wrestling champion on April 15, when she won gold in the Greco-Roman 69 kilogram category at the 2018 U17 / U19 Canadian Wrestling Championships in Edmonton.

Persson dominated the competition in her three matches on route to the title and she said it’s long been a dream of hers to earn a national gold medal.

She was one win away for that goal last year at the championships. The Notre Dame High School grade 12 student, who trains out of Crank Wrestling was proud of her win at nationals this time around.

“It’s been a goal of mine since I started, to be the first one to bring a national championship back to our gym. It was very emotional, but it was good,” she said.

“Greco I’ve always found fun because of the throws. This year was the first year we had Greco provincially for our championship. That was exciting.”

On the second day of the competition, in freestyle, Persson had an up and down showing and ended up in fifth, still bettering her sixth-place finish from 2017. Overall, she was happy with that, but looking back thinks that her mental approach was her biggest hurdle.

“None of them went out of the first period, good for the matches I won, bad for the matches I lost. I was satisfied with how I wrestled. There’s things to fix, as there always is. It was a good freestyle tournament to close out my high school wrestling,” she said.

“I’m pretty happy overall, if there was something, it would be just the mental side. My second match that I lost, it was really just I didn’t show up all the way. I’ve seen improvement from that challenge that I’ve been faced with, good to see that there’s something there.”

Persson will attend University of Calgary next year and compete for the Dinos Wrestling team but is already is excited to get going. In the past few years, she’s already faced some university competition but said she can’t wait for the experience training every day with top level athletes.

“Just more wrestling partners and being able every day to have multiple people to wrestle. Olympic champions and other Olympians,” she said.

Her goal is to bring home another medal from the Canada West Championships next February.

She plans on spending most of the summer training, with a week along the way at U of C with the Dinos.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Craig Schmitt placed first once again at Woody’s Marathon

When Craig Schmitt runs in the annual Woody’s RV Marathon in Red… Continue reading

Life and death: Mistake sent one family to funeral home, the other to hospital

Doctors told Jody Littlewolf that her daughter was brain dead and should… Continue reading

‘Still beautiful:’ Waterton Lakes National Park prepares for life after fire

WATERTON, Alta. — Parks Canada officials and businesses in Waterton say there… Continue reading

British royal family thanks those who celebrated wedding

LONDON — The royal family, blessed with fantastic weather and a buoyant… Continue reading

Cougar kills 1 mountain biker, injures 2nd near Seattle

NORTH BEND, Wash. — Two friends on a morning mountain bike ride… Continue reading

Red Deer Silhouettes prepare for year-end show

Synchronized swimming team will perform its last show this season May 30

One dead in collision west of Sundre

A 30-year-old Cochrane resident is dead after a single vehicle collision in… Continue reading

How a 94-year-old retiree became a gym rat

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Like many gym rats, Paul Russell lifts weights… Continue reading

‘Like a warzone:’ People evacuated as fires burn through Manitoba city’s downtown

BRANDON, Man. — Leanne Marlow saw the flames engulf the building across… Continue reading

Canadians celebrate mix of pageantry, modern twists in royal wedding

As the freshly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex embark on married… Continue reading

Maduro favoured as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expected to win a… Continue reading

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humour

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled… Continue reading

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month