STEUBENVILLE, OHIO (WTRF)- Female wresting is the fastest growing sport in the nation and one local middle schooler is seeing a lot of success wrestling.
“Well my nearest goal is to place at boys’ states and later in life I want to be a world Olympic champion,” said Talea Guntrum, a female wrestler in Ohio.
Talea Guntrum has big dreams in the sport of wrestling. And at 12 years, she’s already been a two time state runner up in boys wrestling, a state champ in girls wrestling in Ohio, and a USA folksyle national champion. But her journey as a female wrestler hasn’t been easy.
“She walked on the mat, certain boys did treat her differently but the coaches never did and she was able to teach herself, hey I can do this as well as anybody else. She also did learn quickly that in order to compete with the boys she has to work twice as hard as the boys,” said Frank Guntrum, Talea’s father.
“Girls should be able to do anything a boy can do. Sometimes when boys know they’re going up against me they think it’s going to be easy and then I beat them it tells them that girls that you should take advantage of girls and they can do anything and can be just as strong as a boy.”
One female has inspired Talea over the years.
“I look up to Helen Morales because she was the first woman to win a gold metal in the U.S.,” said Talea.
Wrestling is a grueling sport but Talea can always count on her parents for motivation when times get difficult.
“I’ll support her in anything she wants to do but again it goes back to her work ethic, she wants to compete and she wants to compete against the best and she works hard at it,” said Frank.
“There’s a lot of people telling me that I’m really good and if it think I’m too good, then I’ll probably stop trying and my parents push me to be the best that I can be.”
Talea says she is excited that Steubenville is starting a high school female wrestling team and she is looking forward to competing for the Big Red in a few years.