Natalie Vecchio became the first female from Kingston to win a gold medal in the Greco-Roman division at the Canadian Junior Wrestling championships at the University of Alberta in Edmonton on April 15.
The 14-year-old member of the Kingston Wrestling Club won her opening match by a pin over Alberta’s Dimetra Russel.
Vecchio went on to beat Sydni Natomagan from Saskatchewan 12-2, and then, in a dominating gold medal performance, shutout the defending champion from Calgary, Eilidh Wist, 8-0.
“It was a great accomplishment for me, considering it was my first time wrestling at the nationals,” said the Grade 9 student from Holy Cross Secondary School.
“To go out and win all three of my matches that day was really great. I had so much fun, and I’m so proud of what I was able to accomplish.”
Vecchio has been wrestling since she was five years old. She credits the Kingston Wrestling Club and coaches Marcus and Ashley Niemann for much of her success.
“Marcus and Ashley have been fantastic,” added Vecchio. “But there’s also my dad, my brother and all of my teammates. They’ve all helped me so much.”
Vecchio joins Terri McNutt as the only female wrestlers from Kingston to win a gold medal at the Canadian championships.