‘I have to make a statement’: Olathe South girl the first freshman to win state wrestling title


OLATHE, Kan. — Rising sophomore Nicole Redmond is blazing a trail on the wrestling mats at Olathe South.

“Being a freshman, and then being like there’s only four girls on the team, I have to make a statement. Just because I wrestled longer, I need to prove myself, that I’m worthy of this team,” Redmond said.

Redmond recently placed first at the state meet in the 120 pound weight class. She’s the first freshman to do so in KSHSAA’s two-year girl’s wrestling history. Redmond also earned Kansas Wrestling Coach’s Association ‘Regional Wrestler of the Year.’

“What Nicole did this year was huge. Number one, she’s a freshman state champion. Now she’s got a chance to do something that’s never been done in this school’s history, as far as being a four-time state champ,” Olathe South wrestling coach Conor Fitzgerald said.

Redmond is an experienced wrestler. She has been practicing her craft since she was 10 years old — thanks to some inspiration from her brother.

“I would go to his wrestling tournaments, and I would see him beat up these boys, win all these cool medals,” Redmond told FOX4. “I was like, ‘Oh my god that’s really cool.’ At the time, I was doing soccer, and I didn’t really love soccer. So I was like, I want to try wrestling.”

There’s no time off for Redmond, who’ll travel to Tulsa this weekend to compete at USA Wrestling’s Junior National Duals. Representing Kansas in her weight class, Redmond will be up against wrestlers from other states.

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