BURNABY, B.C. – It was a big weekend for Prince Edward Islanders Hannah Taylor of Summerside and Veronica Keefe of Winsloe.
Taylor and Keefe earned alternate spots on Team Canada’s wrestling team for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in April 2018.
Taylor and Keefe placed second in their respective weight categories at the Commonwealth Games Team Trials, which was the selection event for Team Canada.
Taylor, who competed as a junior-aged wrestler in the Senior Division, went 2-1 (won-lost) overall in the 57-kilogram category. She defeated the Calgary Dinos’ Amy Bellavia 7-1 and York University’s Alexandria Town 4-2 while losing to Brock Badgers’ teammate Emily Schaefer 1-1. Schaefer was awarded the victory because she held the tiebreaker of scoring the game’s final point.
Keefe, representing the Montreal Wrestling Club, had a second-place finish in the women’s 68-kilogram class, losing the final match to former Olympian Danielle Lappage of the Calgary Dinos.
Ligrit Sadiku of Summerside had a fourth-place finish in the men’s 57-kilogram class.
Sadiku lost to Aso Palani of the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club 4-2, posted 10-0 wins over Christian Nori of the Dinos and Alex Moher of Brock and dropped a 3-2 decision to Darth Capellan of the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club.
Taylor and Sadiku, who are in their second years with Brock University’s prestigious varsity wrestling program, are alumni of the Summerside Wolfpack Wrestling Club.
Taylor won a gold medal on the second day of competition in Burnaby, B.C., at the Simon Fraser University international meet.
Taylor defeated Hannah Franson of the Dinos 2-0, pinned Amy Bellavia of the Dinos at the 37-second mark of the first round and won 13-2 versus Alexandria Town of York University.
Sadiku had a fifth-place finish on the strength of a 2-2 record. He lost to Capellan 11-0, defeated Moher 10-0 and Sam Jagas of Brock University 4-1, before losing 10-1 to Melvin Arciaga of the Bears Club from Edmonton.
Taylor has been invited to compete in a showcase match onboard the USS Midway in San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 21 as an opening event to a dual meet between the Air Force Academy and Division 1 Fresno State team.
Taylor will compete against the top United States junior, Gracie Figueroa, in an outdoor event on the flight deck of the retired air carrier that is now a national museum.
Taylor enjoyed strong success internationally as a member of Canada’s junior national team this past summer. Competing in 55 kilograms, she earned a silver medal at the Junior Pan Am championships in Lima, Peru, in June, and had a ninth-place finish at the 27-country junior world championships in Tampere, Finland, in August.
In October, Taylor was named to Sport Canada’s Next Gen Program for the Ontario/Quebec region. This program is for athletes with evidence of podium success at the 2024 Olympic Games.
This will provide additional opportunities for international tournaments over the next few years to increase the athletes’ success.