Saturday, December 24, 2005

Girls rule: Taking opponents to the mat

Female wrestler makes the grade

Helen Maroulis, 14, a 112-pound freshman, is undefeated in league wrestling matches so far in the 2005 season.

"She’s very technically sound," assistant coach Kevin Phelps says. ‘‘We work on her footwork a lot, and she knows how to scramble well. We try to focus on getting the points early and wherever she can, because she does have some strength issues to overcome."

Maroulis’ "strength issues" derive from the fact that she is one of the few girls wrestling against boys in Montgomery County, MD. Despite the fact that she is wrestling against opponents that, for the most part, weigh the same as she, Maroulis does not have the upper body strength that many of her male counterparts have. While that may be an insurmountable obstacle for other wrestlers, Maroulis has learned how to use her opponents preconceived notions to her advantage.

Maroulis often demonstrates her ability to pin her opponents. In the photo above, taken at a recent meet, she's the student on top.

"Some people just really don't like wrestling girls," she says. "I think some guys get psyched out, but I don't know. I don't really care. I like the competition." As Chay Rao reports, Helen Maroulis may be on the vanguard of a new generation of girls who have entered the formerly male-dominated sport of wrestling.

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