High Schooler Heaven Fitch not only took home a win on Saturday, but made history in doing so. The Uwharrie Charter Academy, 106-pound junior out of Asheboro captured the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1A division title, becoming the first female to accomplish the feat. Her 54-4 record speaks for itself, but she says this is all more than even she imagined.
"I thought as a freshman I wouldn't even have a winning record. And to do this now, I would have never thought of it," she said.
Fitch's win came after a 11-3 major decision, defeating Luke Wilson from Robbinsville High School. The bracket on the way to her win included eight athletes. She was the only female.
The crowd was chanting her name as she grabbed the final victory needed for the title.
"Well, I just wrestled my best and I kind of dominated the match, if I'm being honest," Fitch said of her approach, according to ABC 11.
Fitch is amazed that she gets to be a role model for other girls that want to get into wrestling.
"I'm just glad I can be a role model for being younger than me and it's so insane to be inspiring to others. To think that other look up to me is kind of crazy," she said.
Just a year ago, Fitch was the first female wrestler in the association to place fourth or better. Now she has the number one spot on her resume. It was quite the day for Fitch, who also grabbed the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award in the division.
Fitch fell in love with the sport when she was six. She always wanted to wrestle and when her parents were hesitant to allow her to, she pointed out that they let her three brothers do it, so she should be allowed as well.
"I nagged my parents, basically, because I wanted to do what [my brothers] did. They didn't want me to wrestle. I'm pretty sure it was because they didn't want me to get hurt," she said. "But I would just be like, 'Well, if they can do it, then I should be able to do it.'"
Her story is not isolated, and the sport is gaining popularity with more opportunity being presented for females interested in participating.