Home Schools West Nottingham Academy Slavena Medova wrestles at 86th Annual National Prep Championship

Slavena Medova wrestles at 86th Annual National Prep Championship

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It was not long ago that women in wrestling were considered an anomaly, but that has all changed significantly in the last two decades. When Greece hosted the Summer Olympics in 2004, Women took to the mats and competed for Olympic medals on the big stage for the first time. Since then, two American Women have won Gold Medals and several others have climbed the podium and captured world titles. Just as recently as 2018 only 6 states had Girl’s wrestling listed as a sanctioned High School sport. Today, that number has stretched to 32 and the number of college programs for Women has multiplied exponentially – including the recent announcement that storied University of Iowa will be adding a Women’s team coming this Fall. In short, the sport is now one of the fastest growing activities for girls in the country and the investment in its continued growth is ever-expanding.

So, what does all of this have to do with West Nottingham Academy? After announcing in July that the school would be restarting its wrestling program after a 13-year hiatus, one of the first proposals that new Head of School, Dr. Sandy Wirth, approved for the long-term vision of this program was that Women’s Wrestling would be a priority. As soon as it was a plan Head Coach, Kacey Michelsen, set out to find girls on the campus at WNA who had never wrestled, and maybe had never imagined doing so. By the time the Fall ended, and the mats were being rolled out for practice, the Coach had three girls committed to wrestling on the team and he immediately knew that the program could achieve great heights.

This past weekend, those peaks were realized, and Coach Michelsen could not be prouder, “We only had two teammates who had ever stepped onto a wrestling mat prior to this season, and we ended the year at the 86th Annual National Prep Championship. I might have brought the team to watch anyway, but the entire reason why we got to go in support of a competitor in this first season back is because Slavena had enough courage to step up to the challenge of wrestling against some of the best girls in the country on the largest stage. This is the third year that National Preps have included a Women’s Division and Slavena will forever be one of the pioneers of the sport at both WNA and in the entire country for girls wrestling at the highest level for Prep All-American status”.

And All-American status is exactly what Slavena Medova, a Senior at WNA from Bulgaria, earned when she climbed the podium to receive her bronze medal this past Saturday afternoon. After months of training daily and wrestling against experienced opponents at matches and tournaments, after several bloody noses and at least one black eye, and after managing the strain of a wrestling season that only those who have done it can appreciate what it takes to endure, Slavena helped WNA finish in the top 25 Private School Wrestling teams in the country.

“We hope to build a full program of Women’s wrestlers here at WNA. I’d like to fill all 12 weight classes within the next few years and get a woman on my coaching staff as well. Slavena might not completely realize it yet, but what she represents, simply by being brave enough to show up, is a spark that we intend to grow into a flame here in Cecil County and this area at large. WNA is going to be a destination for girls that want to wrestle, and she is the pioneer of that program”.

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