A high school wrestler from Rosetown is back home after representing Canada at an international wrestling tournament earlier this month.
Frankie Gawryluik, a grade 12 student at Rosetown Central High School, was in Tsu City, Japan for the Saori Cup. The event attracts young wrestlers from different parts of the globe to train with fellow wrestlers and experts in the sport while competing in a tournament.
When speaking to Gawryluik about her time in Japan, she said it's something she will not soon forget.
"Japan is ranked number 1 for female wrestling. It was fantastic being able to go over there, train with them and learn their style of wrestling," she explained.
Earlier this year, Frankie suffered a fractured ankle which put her out for nine months. It was a long road to recovery for the west central wrestler, although once she became healthy, an opportunity came knocking at the door.
Wrestlers who were picked for the Canadian team had to go through an application process and meet a certain criteria in order to go on the trip. Participants had to be born between 2000 to 2003 and had to have finished in a top 3 position at nationals. Unfortunately for Gawryluik, she was unable to compete in nationals earlier this year due to her injury. But she was given a pass on that front since she won nationals the previous year.
Her and Aleah Nickel, a wrestler from Swift Current, were the only two Saskatchewan wrestlers to make the team for the Saori Cup.
The tournament itself was a single-elimination style format with seven wrestlers going head-to-head in Gawryluik's weight class. Frankie would fall in her first match to a wrestler from the United States, but she said her time in Japan was a one-of-a-kind experience.
"I knew I wasn't going to win this tournament because it was my first tournament back in 9 months and I started training a month before this," said Gawryluik. "My goals for this tournament was to go and get the experience and learn as much as I can while I was out there because it's not every day you get to compete at an international tournament."
Now that she is back on home soil, Frankie and her younger sister Allie will continue training and prepare for upcoming tournaments this wrestling season.
She says will continue to practice in Elrose with their coach Russell Fersch and keep training in Saskatoon throughout the winter in order to achieve success at the Juvenile Cadet National Championships and at Junior Nationals in 2019.