Women’s wrestlers ready for first sanctioned season

The women’s wrestling team has launched its first year as a sanctioned sport in Iowa. They currently have 34 girls out; that includes girls from Holmes, Peet, Dike-New Hartford and Hudson. 

Coach Ali Gerbarcht said she hopes that the girls out will become better people, learn from the sport and find their own individual success. Gerbarcht said she is feeling good about the number of girls she has out for the season. The team grew from nine girls last year to 34 girls this season. 

With lots of positive things coming from the first few competitions, Gerbarcht touched on some setbacks for the team. She stresses to the girls that a loss is not a bad thing, it’s a way of learning.  When wrestling it comes with competition, and she said this year’s competition for Cedar Falls is Waverly-Shell Rock. “Waverly has had so many years on us not only by experience, but we are ready to compete with them,” she said. 

Gerbarcht said she is very excited for the girls both new and returning wrestlers. She sees the growth and improvement of the wrestlers and how the girls are very excited to try something new. For her, the most important question here is what wrestling is all about.  “I would say the morals that you learn from this sport and how to become a better person each day.”

Sophomore Anna Johnson, a returning wrestler who has wrestled for 2 years, said her goal for this year’s season is to become a better person in wrestling. Some of the challenges Johnson said she faces is controlling her weight and getting through practice mentally. With her 34 other teammates, she said she feels happy because the sport is growing as a whole. She said she sees her biggest competition for wrestling is Lydia Parkhurst from Waterloo West. 

First year wrestler senior Kaylan Riley from Cedar Falls said her spark in interest of going out for wrestling came from when she was a wrestling cheerleader.

One of the goals she has set is to win as many matches as possible. The person who influences her the most is senior teammate Hope Chiattello. She knows that Chiattello has been doing wrestling for a long time and knows that is a very good wrestler. Like Johnson, Riley said she is looking forward to growing and improving together.

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