Fenton female wrestlers take on states


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Anna Weigle, Writer

As widespread as wrestling is, a couple years ago it was still considered to be a male dominated sport. Now it seems to be making strides toward breaking that stereotype. According to The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, in 1990 there were only a total of 112 girls who participated in high school wrestling— this drastically changed in 2016-2017, when there were 14,587 girls. 

FHS juniors Ella Turnblom and Kendra Ryan both placed in the top five at the state meet on Feb. 2. Turnblom placed fourth while Ryan obtained a first place medal for the second year in a row. 

“States went very well,” Ryan said. “It was so great to get to experience that kind of atmosphere with a lot of other women wrestlers.”

The women’s wrestling state meet is for all female high school wrestlers and seems to get bigger every year. All these high school girls joined a sport that includes them wrestling boys most of the time, but this meet is different because it is all girls.

“Because of how fast the sport is growing for women, next year they will have regionals and only the people that place in regionals will move on to states,” Turnblom said.

Turnblom believes that being on the team has given her life-long friends that push her to be the best she can be.

“I work just as hard as all the guys in the wrestling room, and they all treat me no differently,” Turnblom said. “They are all like brothers and would really do anything for me so I am very thankful for such a great team.”

Joining a team mostly known to be for men can be intimidating, but Ryan recommends girls who are contemplating it give it a try. 

“The amount of memories and relationships wrestling gave me is unlike anything else I have experienced and I would want anyone to be able to get the same things,” Ryan said. “Joining a team full of boys just adds many more bothers into my life who I wouldn’t trade for a second.”

As the first place recipient at the state meet, Ryan is very grateful that she had this experience. Long practices and tough matches all contributed to this win.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my coaches, family, teammates and faith,” Ryan said. “They all helped me have the right amount of confidence and preparation for the state meet.”

Both Turnblom and Ryan went to states last year as well and hope to make it next year, as well.