Perseverance helps Andrew win OFSAA bronze
Things did not start out well for E.L. Crossley’s Ella Andrew at the recent Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ wrestling championships in Ottawa.
The Grade 12 student, who entered the tournament as the top seed, lost her first match and sprained an ankle in the process.
“I got the coach from A.N. Myer to tape it up really tight and I just hoped for the best,” she said. “The adrenaline kicks in once you are on the match.”
That adrenaline didn’t help by the end of the day.
“It hurt so much,” the 17-year-old Fonthill resident said. “We had an ice bath going in one of the rooms and I was sticking it in there a little bit.”
It all seemed to work as Andrew reeled off six straight victories, including one against the opponent who beat her to open the tournament, to claim the bronze medal in the 95-kilogram division. She won with a pin in the first round.
“I thought she was going to pin me but I got that good experience, laid back and pinned her.”
It was a memorable moment when the bronze medal was hung around her neck.
“I was so excited. I was smiling the entire time and I couldn’t stop. I was texting and calling my mom and it was a great experience for me. I had the medal on the whole bus ride back and I came home with it around my neck.”
There were a number of factors that helped her mine bronze.
“It was definitely perseverance and the adrenaline helped me push through it. The coaches were really helpful in giving their speeches. There was a lot of support around me.”
Andrew is planning to return for her 12B year and she’s hoping to take care of some unfinished business before heading to Brock.
“I want to shoot for gold and that is everyone’s goal.
Andrew, who has trained previously in boxing and Muay Thai, did a lit bit of wrestling in Grade 8 but this is the first year that she has trained seriously for the sport.
“I went to a different school and they didn’t offer it there. When I heard that they were starting a team here, I got really excited about it and wanted to get into it more. I really enjoy individual sports.”
She and three other Crossley wrestlers trained with the Brock Junior Badgers under coach Ryan Weicker.
It took her awhile to get back into the sport.
“It is more of a difficult sport for me because it is all personal gain. Especially being in a higher weight class, it is harder to get the athleticism.”
She admits there were more than a few moments when she wondered what she had gotten herself into.
“It was every day out there but you still get through it either way,” she said, with a laugh.
Being able to compete helped her through the rough patches.
“Getting your arm raised is always a benefit and it is fun to have that team aspect.”
Heading into the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships, Andrew had a number of silver medal finishes competing against heavier opponents. She won SOSAA by walkover because there were no girls in her weight class. It was much different situation at OFSAA where there were 18 women in her weight class.