DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
Kiera Kuebeck recently capped off a sensational wrestling season by capturing the gold medal in the Bantam division at the Canada East Wrestling Championships in Niagara Falls.
In her four matches at the tournament, Kuebeck did not surrender a single point, as the Team Impact grappler outscored her opponents by a combined tally of 42-0.
“Going into the final match, I was confident, but still really nervous. All I wanted out of the tournament was to have the kind of matches that I knew I was capable of having. To win the gold medal was really awesome,” said Kuebeck.
The gold medal victory capped off an already impressive year for the Grade 8 student at Port Perry’s S.A. Cawker Public School. She was dominant locally, capturing an individual DEAA championship for her school, part of an Eagles wrestling team that won four out of six Durham Region championships. In addition to starring on the mat, she also helped to coach the school’s junior wrestling team.
The 14-year-old Greenbank resident started wrestling just three years ago, originally as means to help one of her sister Shauna’s teammates at Port Perry High School.
“It all started when I came out to help a girl on the team at the high school that was my size to train,” Kuebeck told the Standard. “I really fell in love with it. Before that, I had done a lot of gymnastics and dance, but once I found wrestling, that was it, and I developed a real passion for the sport.”
During the season, Kuebeck maintains a rigorous training regimen between wrestling at school and with Team Impact. She explained that in a typical week, she is practicing as many as six times. The hard work paid off for her this year, as she only lost a single match during the recent season, a result that drove her to focus even more on success on the mat.
“I felt like the one match that I did lose this year, I really shouldn’t have. So now, I try and go into every match with confidence and more focus. My coach has started calling me K-2 since it’s not the biggest mountain, but the toughest one to conquer,” added Kuebeck.
The summer offseason sees Kuebeck trade in her singlet for a pair of cleats when she takes to the rugby pitch with the Oshawa Vikings, competing with the Under-16 team.
In the fall, Kuebeck will continue the legacy her sister Shauna has left at Port Perry High School. Earlier this year, she won a provincial championship for the Rebels at OFSAA, which is just one of Kiera’s goals as she continues with her wrestling career.
“Aside from being a part of the wrestling team at Port Perry, I’m focused on winning at provincials so that I can earn a spot at Nationals in Calgary next year and keep testing myself against the best possible competition.”
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