ping stone. Gold is obviously

“Winning bronze is just a step- the

goal, but it was awesome being able to medal. It was good experience and it showed me what I have to do to be- come a World champion,” she said. Being on a World Team has giv-

en Boyd invaluable experiences, not only on the mat, but also off. “Not only being able to compete

but also being able to sightsee places that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen without wrestling has been amazing,” she said. Boyd’s parents have played the

biggest role in her career. Constantly being there and traveling to all of her FRPSHWLWLRQV WKH\ FRQWLQXH WR LQÁX- ence her as she has faced some chal- lenges in her wrestling career. “My parents have pushed me

beyond my limits and have given me the opportunities to succeed and be successful,” she said. As Boyd has moved forward in

her career, she has faced the struggles many women wrestlers have, starting off on the boys team. The lack of girls high school wrestling programs in many states across the country brings many young women wrestlers to start out their careers on the boys teams. “I practice with all guys and

it’s challenging because I’m not al- ways getting that girl look on wres- tling,” she said.

“I hope younger girls are able to look up to me and other women wrestlers and be encouraged by the way we’ve grown in wrestling.” — Alara Boyd

Although Boyd has faced chal-

lenges being on her high school’s boys team it has also played a big role in her career. “Being on a guys team has

helped me a lot. They have pushed me in my competition and it has helped me to become the wrestler I am,” she said. In January, Boyd became an

Indiana girls state champion at 138 pounds. She was able to step out of the routine of wrestling boys to par- WLFLSDWH LQ ,QGLDQD·V ÀUVW JLUOV VWDWH tournament, an event that could ul- WLPDWHO\ OHDG VRPHGD\ WR DQ RIÀFLDO state sanction of girls wrestling. Being the only girl on her high school team, this event was huge for Boyd. “Indiana has just started their

own girls state tournament and I just hope every state is able produce a ful- ly-sanctioned girls state tournament. I hope young girls are able to have the opportunity to wrestle in a girls state tournament,” she said.

growing vastly

Women’s wrestling has been through the years.

States around the country are starting to add high school state tournaments for girls and grow existing programs. Being able to be a part of her own state’s growth in girls wrestling is only WKH EHJLQQLQJ RI WKH LQÁXHQFH VKH hopes to have in wrestling. As Boyd grows as a wrestler and

advances onto the Junior and Senior level, she strives to use her success to inspire young girls. “I hope younger girls are able

to look up to me and other women wrestlers and be encouraged by the way we’ve grown in wrestling,” she said.

Boyd has a heavy practice rou-

tine in preparation for her national competitions. She gets to the wres- tling room six times a week and takes additional private sessions with her coach.

+HU ÀUVW ELJ WHVW RI WKH QHZ \HDU came at the U.S. Marine Corps Girls

Folkstyle Nationals in Oklahoma City, Okla., in late March. Boyd entered in both the Ca-

det and Junior divisions and reached WKH &DGHW ÀQDOV ZKHUH HLJKWK JUDGHU Cheyenne Bowman of California, up- set her, 7-2. After the loss, she quickly refocused on winning at the Junior level.

“The Junior tournament is a

whole different tournament, so I just had to forget about the Cadets. I knew what my main goal was, so I just had to get the job done. I forgot about the Cadet tournament and focused on the Juniors,” she said. Boyd powered back in the

-XQLRU GLYLVLRQ WR UHDFK WKH ÀQDOV again, where she drew two-time de- fending Junior Folkstyle Nationals champion Alexandria Liles of Tex- DV WKH PRVW KLJK SURÀOH PDWFKXS LQ WKH ÀQDOV %R\G VFRUHG DQ HVFDSH and received a penalty point in the second period, then rode Liles out the entire third period to emerge with a 2-0 win and the Junior Folk- style Nationals title. This year, she is hoping to make

her second Cadet World Team and have another run at Worlds. “Making another World Team

and winning Body Bar are the top of my goals for the year. And more than that I want to be a World champion,” she said. Q


Alara Boyd (right) earned a bronze medal at 132 pounds in the Cadet World Championships last September in Georgia.


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