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Port Moody's Ella Finding medals in first major international wrestling meet

The 17-year-old brought back a bronze from Buenos Aires.
Ella Finding (middle) of Port Moody won bronze in her weight class at the 2022 U17 Pan-American Championships in Argentina.

Ella Finding may need to extend her trophy case as her 2022 medal count continues to climb.

The Port Moody wrestler earned some hardware from her first major international appearance — the 2022 U17 Pan-American Championships by United World Wrestling, the global governing body for the sport.

In Argentina, the 17-year-old won her final bout to claim the bronze medal in her women's 57 kg weight class.

She defeated Fatima Figueroa Alvarez of Guatemala by a score of 11-0 in what was her best performance on the Buenos Aires mat.

Finding amassed a 2-1 record from last weekend; she won her quarterfinal match over Brazil's Thaina Ribeiro before losing to eventual silver-medalist Skylar Little Soldier of the U.S.

The Coast Wrestling Academy member was one of seven Team Canada athletes to medal at the Pan-Am tournament, which included one gold, two silver and four bronze.

It's the first medal she's won outside of North America, but Finding's bronze was the third international podium finish.

Earlier this year, the Port Moody Secondary student brought back gold and bronze medals from south of the border from two high-school events in Washington state.

Finding won her division at the WSMA Elma Freestyle tournament, and finished in third place at the USA Wrestling Northwest Freestyle Regionals.

Her latest accomplishment is off the heels of her Canadian championship title, winning gold in 57 kg division of women's under-19 freestyle wrestling.

She even beat out her fellow club wrestling teammate Madisyn Grof to claim the national medal.

That added to the provincial trophy from the same weight class that Finding racked up in early March.

As well, Finding was recognized in April with the BC Wrestling Association's 2022 Andy Laliberte Athlete Award for her dedication to the sport and all her hard work this season.

Port Moody Secondary wrestling coach Selwyn Tam says Finding's honour was reflected in her hours of training and competition.

"Her commitment to excellence is not only with her success, but with the success of her teammates, who she helps coach," added Tam.

"[...] she plans to continue wrestling through post-secondary and possibly further."

The award included a $500 bursary to help Finding attend and prepare for the national championships.