PEI Wrestlers compete at 2022 Canadian Wrestling Trials

RJ Hetherington bronze

Members of the Canada Games Wrestling Team competed this past weekend (May 27-28) at the National Junior Wrestling Championships held in Edmonton, Alberta. The team was represented by R.J. Hetherington, Vanessa Keefe and Christian Desreux. The three fighters used the competition as a test for the upcoming Canada Games in August. Both Keefe and Hetherington competed above their natural age category to prepare themselves for high level fighting.

The wrestlers were led by Hetherington’s performance at 65 kg., where he finished with a 4-1 record, earning him a bronze medal in his weight class. Hetherington lost only to the eventual gold medal winner. In his 3 victories he gave up only 1 point, while dominating his opponents by scoring 29 total points. Hetherington added to his results by winning the “true second match” on the second day of fighting. This fight gave him higher status toward going to international tournaments representing Canada.

Vanessa Keefe competed in a very challenging weight division and finished with a 2-2 record. Her win-loss record put her in fifth position. Keefe showed flashes of the speed and strength that have garnered her national recognition in the sport. She used this tournament to develop her skills toward fighting in her natural U-19 age group.

Christian Desreux fought in the 85 kg. class and finished with a 2-2 record. His results earned him a fifth place finish for his division. Desreux has had a very sharp learning curve with his transition from football to wrestling, losing a close match to the second best wrestler in the weight division at the National Wrestling Championships.

Head Coaches, Bradshaw Campbell and Matt MacGrath were pleased with the athlete’s performances in the event. The tournament will provide important feedback to continue each athlete’s development.

The Canada Games training team will be active again very shortly, as we aim toward the U-17 and U-19 National Championships. This tournament is being held from June 9-12 in Calgary, Alberta. Vanessa Keefe and R.J. Hetherington will lead the team at this event. The team will be filled out by U-19’s Lydia Enman, Mikey Perry, and Emery Doherty. Beatrice Galaise will round out the team, fighting in the U-17 age category.

A trio of PEI athletes also competed in the Senior National Championships. Hannah Taylor won the gold medal in the 57kg division, Trevor Banks won bronze in the 57kg division, and Jason Reeves placed fourth in the 65kg division.