(Courtesy Photo)

 

by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

      Megan Vondrasek, a senior at Owosso High School, became the first 130 lb. State Champion in the first Michigan Wrestling Coaches Association Girls State Finals at Adrian College’s Merillat Sport and Fitness Center on Sunday, Feb. 3. The Michigan Wrestling Coaches Association had announced the new event last December. Fourteen weight classes that included 167 girls from around the state competed during the single day tournament. Each of the girls had participated on a boy’s high school wrestling team, prior to competing on Sunday.

   Vondrasek started wrestling during her 9th-grade year, under the guidance of Owosso Coach Ryan Clevenger. She was inspired by her older brother, Joseph, an Owosso graduate who is now wrestling at Alma College, and her father, Matthew, who wrestled during college in Muskegon. Both of her parents, including her mother, Amie, are from Owosso. Her father is also the assistant wrestling coach at the high school.

   “I enjoy wrestling,” Vondrasek shared. “I’ve always really enjoyed working out. Practices are pretty tough and I enjoy that. Also, wrestling is a sport for the individual. Where in volleyball, an athlete can only be as good as the weakest player, in wrestling, I can focus on bettering myself. It is a personal challenge.”

   Along with wrestling, Vondrasek has played volleyball throughout high school. She attended St. Paul Catholic School through 8th-grade. Aside from athletics and school, she enjoys writing, poetry and photography – and she loves to work out.

   “A lot goes into the sport,” she said. “Eating healthy, trying to keep your weight down. There is a lot of strategy involved. Mental strengths play into it. If you are mentally there and going with the positive, a lot of things can happen.”

   In describing the high school team she is on, she stated, “It’s a pretty young team this year, but our boys have come a very long ways. Every person does their job, shows up to practice. We’ve definitely surprised a few teams this season.”

   Weigh-in for the state finals began at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3. The competition started at 10 a.m. Vondrasek pinned her opponent in the first match, sharing that it “felt good to get the first match out of the way.” During her second match she won 9 to 0 against a “pretty tough girl, but I was fairly confident I was going to win that match. Then during the semi-finals match, I wrestled the girl that was seated first and it started off pretty back and forth, but I could tell when she was getting tired, so I was able to pin her which felt pretty good. Then going into finals, I was nervous because I had to wrestle a girl that beat me last summer and I knew it would be close. I ended up winning 6 to 4.”

   Vondrasek is considering attending Adrian College after she graduates. She visited the campus and enjoyed practicing with the Adrian College women’s wrestling team.

   As for the future of women’s wrestling, Vondrasek is very enthusiastic. “I just think this is pretty neat to know this is going to grow quickly. Women’s wrestling has already grown so much. I’m excited to see where it is going to be in the next few years.”

   Megan also stated that she is “truly overwhelmed with the love and support that people have shown. I also overcame a clavicle injury by junior year and was not able to wrestle for the season. It took a big toll on me mentally and physically, but I am very grateful that it healed and I was able to get back on the mat!”

Owosso Wrestler Bridges Barriers with State Championship was last modified: February 15th, 2019 by Karen Elford