To begin the wrestling season with a gold medal around your neck is a pretty impressive way to start off the year. Allie Gawryluik, a grade 9 student at Rosetown Central High School, did just that last weekend to reach the top of the podium.
From Friday to Saturday, Gawryluik was in Regina at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill High School for one of her first wrestling meets of the season, where she matched up with wrestlers from different parts of the city and province. At the tournament, Allie was representing RCHS, but trains during the season in Elrose at the Elrose Wrestling Club.
Wrestling in the female 68 kg category, she was able to cruise through her three matches to end Friday on a high note. On Saturday, Gawryluik was on the mat at 9:00 a.m. for her first match of the day, ending it with another victory to advance to her weight class final.
When talking about her performances during her matches before the final, she explained how her coach challenged her to win the matches in a different way.
Moving on to the final, she was allowed to go back to pinning, if possible, against her opponent Makena Ricard of Regina's Campbell Collegiate. What some people may have not realized is that Makena and Allie are actually pretty familiar with each other.
Their story goes back to before Allie and her family moved to Rosetown and Makena started living in Regina. Allie's father, Clark, gave the background story of Allie's and Makena's relationship.
When Gawryluik and Ricard were younger, they were able to train together but had to compete in different weight classes. This time, the two entered in the same weight category, which created the possibility of a reunion match at the meet.
After a hard fought duel, Allie was able to take down her friend Makena to win first place and claim the gold medal. When speaking to Allie, she told us the strategy she used to pull off the victory.
Gawryluik will be doing a lot more wrestling and plenty of travelling over the next couple months. Her next big tournament is coming up on January 26th and 27th in Abbotsford, British Columbia, before taking a trip to Edmonton, Alberta for another meet.
Also on the horizon for the promising Rosetown wrestler is high school regionals, where she hopes to qualify for provincials, before preparing for nationals in Fredricton, New Brunswick in April.