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Newfoundland and Labrador wrestler shines like silver at the Canada Games

Angel Hiltz-Morrell earns province's first medal in Winnipeg

Published on August 12, 2017

Newfoundland and Labrador's Angel Hiltz-Morell shows off the silver medal she was awarded Friday night at the Canada Games wrestling competition in Winnipeg.

©Brendan McCarthy/The Telegram

Winnipeg — She didn’t sleep much the night before her semifinal match Friday morning. She didn’t sleep at all before her gold-medal bout at the Canada Games lated in the day

Newfoundland's Angel Hiltz-Morrell (left) and bronze-medallist Sydney Lewis (right) of Ontario join gold-medal winner Jessica Rabet on the Canada Games podium after medal presentations following the conclusion of the women's 84kg wrestling competition Friday night in Winnipeg.
Brendan McCarthy/The Telegram

But it’s sure bet Newfoundland and Labrador wrestler Angel Hlitz-Morrell slept well Friday night
Hilts-Morrell didn’t win gold in the women’s 84kg class in Winnipeg, taking the silver medal after a 10-1 loss to Manitoba’s Jessica Rabet in the final, but the 15-year-old from Avondale nevertheless delivered the biggest performance of an athlete from this province at these Games, which will end Sunday after two weeks of competition. The medal she was awarded Friday is the first for Newfoundland at these Games.
“It feels good. It actually feels a little heavy,,” said a smiling Hiltz-Morrell as she held the medal which had been awarded to her earlier at the Axworthy Health and RecPlex on the University of Winnipeg campus.
“This is probably the biggest thing I have ever done.”
There could be more big things in store for the teenager, who had defeated national juvenile champion Sydney Lewis in the morning semifinal before her matchup with Rabet, the national juvenile championship runner-up, in the gold-medal final
“Oh my God, yes,” answered her coach, Noel Strapp, if Hiltz-Morrell’s Canada Games showing has drawn the attention of wrestling’s national program.
“She wouldn’t  been on the radar coming into this, especially in this tough weight class, And you know, that might have worked out to our advantage, because I think she was a little bit underestimated.”
Against Rabet, Hiltz-Morrell showed a willingness to attack, but the Manitoba champion proved impossible to get off her feet and kept scoring points with effective counters in a match that went into a second three-minute session.
“Strong, strong girl,” said Strapp about Rabet. “She’s not used to going more than 30 seconds in a match. She usually dominates right away and the game plan was for Angel to make her earn it and keep her working and working.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way she wrestled. I know in the moment immediately afterwards, she was disappointed, but we are nothing but proud.”
Following a Canada Games experience that has been what Hiltz-Morrell calls “the time of my life,” she will soon be in line for more adventures. As a member of the Newfound Rock women’s development rugby team, she’ll travel to Ireland in about a week’s time for some tournament play and to take in the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
In between, she’ll enjoy time with her family, especially since her parents, Jackie Hiltz and Shane Morrell, couldn’t make it to Winnipeg this week. Her dad was working offshore on a supply vessel, but the silver-medal wrestler understood that he was able to take in her Friday-night match, no doubt cheering as he watched a live stream.
“They probably could have heard him back onshore in Newfoundland,” she laughed.

bmcc@thetelegram.com