Drew Persson, centre, achieved her three-year goal by winning gold in U19 women’s Greco wrestling at the national championships in April. Persson will soon be graduating high school and will be moving on to the University of Calgary. Photo Submitted

Drew Persson, centre, achieved her three-year goal by winning gold in U19 women’s Greco wrestling at the national championships in April. Persson will soon be graduating high school and will be moving on to the University of Calgary. Photo Submitted

Drew Persson national champion in Greco wrestling

Persson placed first in the Greco category at the national championship

With only three year’s of experience, Eckville wrestler Drew Persson has accomplished a major step in her road to becoming the “world’s best wrestler.”

In April, Persson brought home a national wrestling championship. She finished first in the the U19 women’s Greco division.

She also improved her standing from last year in the U19 freestyle category by placing fifth.

“It was my goal when I started three years ago to bring a national championship back to Crank [Wrestling Club],” Persson said.

While she enjoys both freestyle and Greco style wrestling, Persson says she enjoys freestyle a little bit more.

In freestyle wrestling, she is allowed a little bit more freedom in her forms and move sets.

“This was one of the only competitions in North America that has a freestyle category, which is really cool,” she said.

She said making it to the national chapionship and winning wouldn’t have been possible without all eight of her sponsors.

“It really shows that there are people out there rooting for you,” Persson said of the team behind her.

Persson, a Grade 12 student at Notre Dame High School in Red Deer, hopes her accomplishment will continue to encourage the other members of the club, like Savannah McAlpine who also competed at the national championship.

Many of the club members look up to Persson, which she says is a little weird.

“I don’t look at myself as a role model, but I’m glad I can encourage others.”

With a national title under her belt, Persson says she is looking forward to growing as a wrestler and moving towards her ultimate goal to be the world’s best wrestler.

The next stop on her journey is continuing training and education at the University of Calgary.

Under the direction of Mitch Ostberg, Persson will be training with some of the best wrestlers Canada has to offer.

“It’s been one of my goals to go to the U of C and train there,” said Persson.

On the road to becoming the best wrestler in the world, Persson says becoming an Olympian is part of it.

The best athletes in the world train and work to compete on the world’s stage, to be the best you have to be there to, Persson says.

“I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff and learning from the other wrestlers,” Persson said, adding Calgary is one of the main hubs for wrestling in Canada.

Her coach at Crank Wrestling, Adam Laporte, is proud of her accomplishments and all the hard work she has put into her wrestling over the last three years.

While Persson is looking forward to starting the next leg of her journey, she says she plans on coming back to visit her old coach and the members of Crank Wrestling Club.

 

Savannah McAlpine competed in the U17 women’s freestyle division at the national championship in April. This was McAlpine’s first national competition, though she did not place Coach Adam Laporte says she had a great experience. Photo Submitted

Savannah McAlpine competed in the U17 women’s freestyle division at the national championship in April. This was McAlpine’s first national competition, though she did not place Coach Adam Laporte says she had a great experience. Photo Submitted