Bethel High School sophomore wrestler Jordan Blair made history last weekend by placing eighth in the 106-pound girls' division of the USA Preseason Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa.
By virtue of the finish, Blair achieved All-American status which is believed to be the first ever for a Bethel wrestler.
Blair posted a 2-2 record in the tournament and won both of her matches by pins. In her second match of the tournament.
Success on the mat is not foreign to Blair, who owns a junior high state championship in which she recorded 87 points, more than any other competitor in all of the weight brackets.
She has also captured an OKWA state championship and an OKUSA state crown. At the OKUSA event, she was the only 14-year-old, competing in the high school division
“It was a good experience to wrestle girls from other states,. There were a couple of girls from Nebraska and a couple from Hawaii,” said Blair. “You go to other states and find out there are girls teams there.”
Bethel head coach Jason McPhail believes Blair's experience is invaluable.
“This is a huge accomplishment. She works so hard and is so committed to her vision of winning a national championship and this is just further proof that she is still hungry and working,” McPhail said.
By competing at nationals, Blair was also to see and absorb various and distinct styles of amateur wrestling.
“You have different wrestling styles from all over the country,” McPhail said. “On the West Coast, it's more takedown and in the Midwest it's really grinding and being good on top...hard-nosed type of wrestlers.”
Blair isn't the only female on the Bethel High School squad as there are three others – junior Isabel Lee and sophomores Baylea Allen and Grace St. Laurent. There are five girls in the Bethel Middle School program.
One of Blair's future goals is to wrestle collegiately, once she graduates from high school.
“I hope that OSU or OU gets D1 girls wrestling by my senior year,” Blair said.
Meanwhile, Blair hopes to provide a boost to the Bethel wrestling program as they take to the mats soon for competition.