Yes, I am a girl, and yes, I wrestle. Yes, I have competed against boys, and yes, I have beaten boys on multiple occasions.
I’m also the first girl in Colorado wrestling history to place at the boys’ state wrestling tournament, where I took 5th place.
Sorry, I figured I’d get the questions I’m constantly asked out of the way.
Growing up as a girl who wrestled was never weird to me. In fact, it’s all I ever knew. My older brother introduced me to the sport, and I gave it a first try when I was about five years old.
At the time, I had no intention to break barriers. I just wanted to follow into my brother’s footsteps.
But, from that first moment I started wrestling, my life has been about pushing the limits.
There have always been people who didn’t like the fact that I was a girl wrestler. I’ve heard it from everywhere – players, parents, and even some coaches. I’ve always had to prove myself as someone who deserved their spot on the mat.
And as you can imagine, that wasn’t always the easiest. Some people didn’t want to wrestle a girl.
Not me. I’d wrestle whoever was in front of me. And this attitude made me a stronger person.
I’ve always been breaking the barriers. It’s something that I’ve come to enjoy. That’s part of the reason why I was so excited to go to Presbyterian.
I mean, we are the first-ever Division I women’s wrestling team in the country. Isn’t that awesome?!
Our entire team is ready to tear down the stigma around wrestling, especially women’s wrestling.
We are here, and we are ready.
Despite being just a freshman, I want to become a leader for this team. All of the great teams – no matter what sport – the one thing they have in common is that they all have great leaders.
Our team is packed with great leadership, but since this is our first year, we don’t have a girl who’s “been there and done that.”
So, it’s important that we all pave the way together.
As a new team, we’ve actually had a pretty strong start to the season. I believe we are far ahead of where many others thought we’d be at this point.
We’ll continue to grow and gain experience. And, with hard work, it’s all going to come together and just click. When that happens, our women’s wrestling team is going to turn into something unstoppable.
To build a great program, you need a special mentality. For me, that stems from something my dad has told me since I was a little girl:
“Wrestle every match like it’s for a championship.”
It’s a life-long dream of mine to win a championship. Because of that, I’ve carried my dad’s advice with me through every practice and match.
One of my goals is for every single wrestler we have to buy into that same mentality.
If you treat every match like the most important one of your life, you’ll be just fine.
I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of this opportunity with Presbyterian, and I can’t wait to see where it goes over the next three years.
Wrestling is an individual sport. That’s why I fell in love with it when I was a little boy.
Every time I stepped on to the mat, it all came down to me – one on one against the other wrestler. I couldn’t depend on anyone else. No one had my back out there.
But despite it being an individual sport, the team you are on is essential. At Presbyterian, I’m surrounded by a group of guys who are pushing and supporting one another every day.
It’s such a fantastic experience to be a part of a new program. Our team has an incredibly unique opportunity ahead of us. And we know it.
When starting a new program, it’s all about setting the tone. Building a culture, you know?!
Right now, everyone is still trying to figure out their role. And that’s normal!
But there is one simple mindset we know we want to enforce for generations to come. And that is that we will outwork everybody.
Whether it’s in the weight room or the classroom, we are in charge of how hard we work.
This is an essential mentality for us since there are only a limited number of things you can control in wrestling. Obviously, we can’t control our opponent’s moves or their work ethic. But we are in charge of how hard we push to get better.
We can control our attitude toward improving.
I’ve been able to see first-hand what it takes to compete at a high level in this sport. Before coming to Presbyterian, I attended a JUCO.
There, during my sophomore season, I finished as the national runner-up.
More recently, in the U.S. Open, I earned 8th place, which allowed me to obtain an Olympic redshirt. Meaning I get to stay in college and my sport for another year.
With that additional year, I want to be the best mentor I can be.
Just like the program, our team is very young. Our roster is filled to the brim with freshmen and sophomores.
All those young guys need someone to look up to.
Coach Tony Deanda has been a tremendous motivator and influence on all of us. But having a veteran presence in the locker room can go a long way for a new program.
I know all it’s going to take for us to get to that next level is teambuilding.
We need to continue working on building chemistry and relationships on and off the mat. That’s what great teams do.
And, we’re already on our way.
The support we’ve seen from fans, administration, and even other students since the inception of both wrestling programs has been simply amazing.
If this support continues, I can promise you all that Presbyterian will soon enough be a big-time wrestling school.