ASHEBORO, N.C. — Heaven Fitch never worried about stereotypes.
She developed an interest in wrestling when she was about 6 years old.
Fitch is now a sophomore at Uwharrie Charter Academy and is a starter on the school’s wrestling team.
“I’ve had a lot of support. People don’t really question it or make fun of me for it or anything,” she said.
“The best way to describe her is that she’s just a wrestler. I don’t think of her as a female wrestler. I just think of her as being a wrestler. She’s tough,” coach Chris Waddell said.
Not only is she a standout athlete, this past February, Fitch made state history.
She became the first female wrestler to ever place in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship.
“To qualify alone was pretty cool for me because I didn’t qualify last year. The first few matches were pretty nerve-racking. I’ve wrestled in pretty big tournaments before, but it was just a cool experience because I have the chance to possibly place and possibly make history, which I did. It’s just really awesome,” she said.
“Her getting fourth place being the first female wrestler in the history of North Carolina was great. Everybody was pumped,” Waddell said.
The state is noticing an interest in wrestling among girls.
This was the first year the NCHSAA held a state invitational for girls.
Fitch did not participate in that tournament because she wanted to wrestle with her team in the dual team wrestling championship.
Uwharrie Charter Academy won the dual team championship.