116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — With the addition of a girls’ wrestling team at City High this year, many have stepped into a brand-new sport and found much success this season.
Among these athletes is junior Claire Brown, who finished her season strong with a record of 11-2.
Being a manager of the boys’ wrestling team since 8th grade, wrestling always has had a presence in Brown’s life. However, it wasn’t until this year she was truly able to experience the sport.
“I think the biggest thing was just that I wanted to stay in shape for soccer, since basketball wasn’t really my thing last year,” she said about her reasons to try to the sport.
Brown has been a varsity starter on the soccer team since her freshman year. When comparing soccer with wrestling, wrestling is a very different experience.
“Wrestling is only six minutes and soccer is 90 minutes, and I would say wrestling is a lot harder,” she said. “Compared to soccer, it’s just a lot different, there’s so much more pressure on yourself, and just being fit is totally different.”
Coach Ryan Ahlers noticed Brown’s hard working attitude in practice this season.
“From the beginning of the season, Claire has been focused on the sport and what she can do in the sport, which was really cool to see from the first practice of the year,” he said. “Claire is extremely hardworking and she is already starting to figure out how to work hard in wrestling to improve. It’s showing in her matches, but also in practice too. She’s starting to look more comfortable in different positions in wrestling.”
Brown said the wrestling practices were “intense.”
“There is a lot of conditioning,” she said. “With wrestling, you don’t have time to walk through the motions because our season is so short, and we have so many back-to back meets.”
Despite the physical challenges of wrestling, the girls have been able to continue to work hard through their positive team environment.
“Everyone always supports everyone during every match, and when somebody does something good or bad, there’s always somebody there to support you,” Brown said.
Ahlers acknowledged Brown’s leadership.
“Claire sets a good example of hard work and focus,” he said. “Just those simple things of cheering for teammates and also helping instruct them during a match. When your teammates are doing that, that’s a really good feeling, and that’s something I’ve seen from Claire a lot this season.”
Although Brown did not end up placing at the state meet, Ahlers acknowledged her success throughout the season.
“Being 11-2 is incredible for this being her first year out.” he said. “I don’t think Claire has done little kids wrestling, so to come into a new sport that you’ve never done before, that physical, it takes endurance, it takes muscular strength, and it takes a lot of mental strength too.”