Only two medals were won by Nova Scotian wrestlers at a recent national competition — and both medalists hail from the Valley.
The 2019 Canadian U17/U19 Championships were held April 5-7 at the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton.
Makayla Levy, a Wolfville-based athlete who wrestles out of the Metro Amateur Wrestling Club, added another notch in her belt as she brought home the silver medal in the Women`s Freestyle Under-19, 57kg weight class.
Levy won a gold in the U19 freestyle division for the 57kg weight class during the same tournament in Edmonton, Alta. in 2018.
Téa Racozzi, a Grade 12 student attending King’s-Edgehill School in Windsor, topped off her final year at the school by bringing home the silver in the 73 kg Under 19 weight class. It was her first trip to wrestling nationals for the Windsor Mat Kings.
“Things were a little more competitive this year. Just to get those silver medals was quite an accomplishment,” said Kim Walsh, the director of athletics at King’s-Edgehill School.
Walsh, who coached Levy a couple years ago, has been coaching Racozzi since she started wrestling in Grade 9.
For him, seeing Racozzi continue to excel — not just at wrestling and school sports but in academics — has been rewarding.
“I’m most proud of her being a scholar athlete,” said Walsh, listing off several recent accomplishments.
Racozzi currently has a 93 per cent average at school, she’s taking seven courses instead of six — with her seventh course being calculus — and she participates in multiple school sports.
She served as one of the captains for King’s-Edgehill’s girls’ varsity soccer team in the fall. She ran for the cross-country team and was the fastest runner on the girls’ senior team, winning at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation’s cross-country championships.
Over the winter, she wrestled, serving as a captain on the team, and defended her provincial individual championship title. King’s-Edgehill placed second overall by one point for the senior girls’ team at the provincial level.
“While she was doing that, she also competed on a three-member (girls) snowboard team, who won the provincial snowboard championships,” said Walsh.
She’s eager to get out on the pitch for the rugby season, which officially started April 12, and serves as one of the captains.
She may also take part in track and field this spring, but only if time permits.
“She’s a true scholar athlete,” he said.
For Racozzi, she doesn’t do it for the medals and accolades.
“I think it’s less about the awards and more about the experiences that I’ve gained from doing all of them,” said Racozzi.
“It’s kind of rewarding to be in your last year and to do all that. I think the experiences that come with it are way more important and I’m going to use those for the rest of my life.”
When it came time to wrestling on the national stage, Racozzi said she was at ease — which is not something she’s used to.
“It was actually the first wrestling match that I wasn’t nervous for,” said Racozzi. “I was nervous up until the point where I was about to go on and it stopped and I was excited to wrestle... Normally I’m too nervous to enjoy it but I actually got to enjoy it this time.”
She’s looking forward to leading her rugby team this spring and said she hopes to inspire new players to give the sport a try.
Racozzi has already been scouted by a few universities but she hasn’t decided yet where she will pursue medical sciences, or what sport she may choose to play.
“Maybe rugby and wrestling; maybe just rugby; maybe just wrestling. I think I want to play sports for sure,” she said.
One thing that both Walsh and Racozzi know for sure is that her time at KES has provided not only ample awards but memories as well.