Fredonia alum Sluberski coaches USA Wrestling in Berlin

Participants of the Berlin Open.
Pictured are all of the participants of the Berlin Open in November, at which Fredonia graduate Carlene Sluberski coached for Team USA Wrestling. Submitted Photo.

Carlene Sluberski has put together an extensive list of wrestling accomplishments and experiences over her career.

The Fredonia Central School graduate became the first female to ever place at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships, when she finished second at the Times Union Center in Albany in 2009.

After her time at Fredonia, she became a four-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Champion, renamed and now known as U Sports. She was also a two-time U.S. Senior National Team Member and served as a training partner for the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Currently, she finds herself as the head women’s wrestling coach at the University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana. She was appointed as head coach of the Argonauts back in January. The University of Providence’s women’s wrestling team is a member of the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association and will join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 2020-21.

In addition to all those accolades, Sluberski has had the opportunity to serve as a coach for Team USA Wrestling. In November, she traveled to Berlin, Germany to help coach Team USA in the Berlin Open, a tournament that features over 300 wrestlers from 22 countries. She worked with six cadet wrestlers (ages 15-17) and nine junior wrestlers (ages 18-20). In total, 11 women’s freestyle wrestlers for Team USA placed in the competition, including six golds, four silvers and one bronze.

Carlene Sluberski
Carlene Sluberski

“It’s always a great opportunity,” Sluberski emphasized. “I get to go and volunteer my time. I enjoy going because there is always something I can learn. I feel like I get to work with a lot of other coaches, very high-caliber coaches and I think just that learning opportunity is so valuable for me. And especially this past trip, I got to go and coach with Jess Medina, who is the women’s developmental coach. …It’s nice to have that female role model as far as coaching goes. …They’re all really talented athletes. Most of them are on the cadet and junior national teams, so they are top three in the country.”

Following the Berlin Open, Sluberski and the team traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to participate in a five-day training camp. The group practiced in all-day workouts, led mostly by German coaches.

“I think that’s one of my favorite parts of it is going to see the other coaches run practices and showing technique,” Sluberski said when asked about the camp. “And then, they’re all things that I can take back (to the University of Providence).

It was Sluberski’s third international trip with Team USA Wrestling. She has also traveled to Brazil and Sweden.

Upon her return to the United States, Sluberski had no time to rest, meeting the University of Providence women’s wrestling team in Missouri for the Missouri Valley College Open. After a week back in Great Falls, Sluberski and the Argonauts then traveled to Spokane, Washington to compete in the Spokane Open.

“I do enjoy it, the traveling and keeping busy and everything,” Sluberski said. “And I think that I sometimes thrive off of being stressed out. …It’s a great experience and I always enjoy coming back. I get to work with different athletes and then I come back to my own team. It just gives me a new perspective on things.”

Wrestling has allowed Sluberski to travel the world, form connections and bonds with countless people and expand her already vast knowledge of the sport she deeply loves and cherishes.

“It’s taken me a little while because I felt like I had left the sport as an athlete,” Sluberski stressed. “Not feeling so great about myself and feeling like I came up short. But, over the past couple of years and being on the other side as far as coaching, I just feel very lucky. I mean, how lucky was I? To have experienced all of this and to have so many great people in my life.”

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