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Prince George teen adds National wrestling champion to 2018-19 resume

Haley Florell won Under-19 gold while representing PGSS in New Brunswick

It only took 38 seconds for a Prince George teenager to accomplish one of her goals this season.

Haley Florell used all her might and strength on Saturday (April 6) in Fredericton, New Brunswick and is bringing back a gold medal and a National champion's smile from the Canadian Championships in the Under-19 Women’s Freestyle competition.

The 18-year-old was pinned against five other contestants from across the country in her weight class, 80kg, winning by fall over Hailey Schaefer of Team Discipline (Stoney Creek, Ontario) in the final bout.

Originally from Mackenzie, the Prince George Secondary school product struck gold at the 2019 B.C. Wrestling Championships in Langley last month.

She beat out five participants in that tournament as well, including Zenze Stanley-Jones of Kelly Road Secondary in the finals, to cap off her high school career.

“I have played many sports throughout the years,” explained Florell in a social media post following provincials, “But nothing had given me the true empowerment, passion and mentality that wrestling has. The sport has given me heartbreak and complete utter joy. I couldn't believe I was saying goodbye to all of my wrestling friends, all of the great trips, and all of the amazing life experiences that only high school wrestling can give. Through teary eyes, I am sad that it is over, but excited for the next chapter in my life.”

In March, Florell settled for silver a the Canadian Junior/Senior Wrestling Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, losing by fall in the gold medal match to Burnaby’s Serena Woldring.