It’s a long way from Mackenzie to the national high school wrestling championships, but Tristina Howse is set to do it in a three-year span.
The Grade 10 student at Prince George Secondary only started wrestling when she moved to Prince George from Mackenzie three years ago.
“My gym teacher was also the wrestling coach, and he thought I should join the team.
“I’d never thought about wrestling before, but I decided to try it. It seemed to come sort of naturally, which made me like it even more.”
She finished fourth at the recent provincials, which earned her a spot at the nationals. There’s just one problem.
“The nationals are in Fredericton, N.B. in April, and you have to pay your own way. I’ve made some arrangements for funding, but it’s always better to have a back-up plan in case something falls through.”
Anyone who would like to help Tristina can go to /www.gofundme.com/o4lpj0.
At the provincials, Tristina lost her first bout, then won her next two.
“I was really nervous about the third match, because I knew if I won that one, I would be able to go to nationals.”
In her final bout, for third and fourth, she faced the same wrestler she had lost to in the first round.
“She wasn’t doing much, so I got a point because of her passivity. Then, later, she got a point because they ruled I was being too passive and not doing enough.”
That was how the bout ended, with Tristina losing the match because her opponent scored the final point.
At the high-school tournaments she has wrestled in and at the provincials, the divisions have been set strictly by weight, so Tristina wrestled in the -75 kg class at the provincials.
That won’t be the set-up at the nationals.
“For the nationals, I’ll be wrestling in the Cadet division, for Grades 9 and 10, and I’ll be wrestling in the -80. I don’t mind wrestling up in weight. I wrestled -80 in Grande Prairie because there was no one in my weight, and I won the gold.”
Tristina is the only Prince George wrestler going to the nationals.
“I think it’s an honour to represent Prince George. I know there are two wrestlers from Vanderhoof going and one from Houston, so there will be some people I know.”