In a sport dominated by boys, a local girl is making a big name for herself after a stellar performance at the MIAA’s first girls’ wrestling state tournament.
After 10 years of dance, Whittier Tech High School junior Cat McNulty made a bold move, joining the wrestling team as a freshman.
At first, McNulty was following in her brother’s footsteps, but it soon turned into her paving the way for other girls looking to break into the sport.
As the only girl on her school’s wrestling team in Haverhill, McNulty took home the 170-pound title at the state’s first girls’ wrestling state tournament, making history for both her school and her state.
“I was crying, I was yelling, it was all over the place for me,” McNulty said. “It’s been such a fun, great title to carry around right now.”
After a 7-10 season record wrestling only boys, the 16-year-old entered the MIAA’s inaugural girls’ state wrestling tournament in February.
“When it comes to a match, a guy might stand off to the side making jokes with his friends, so it kind of aggravates me,” McNulty said. “But, it almost pushes me in a way. Motivates me to show them, ‘You don’t need to be laughing on the side. I’m going to beat you anyway.'”
McNulty said she pinned her first opponent about halfway through the second period, but her finals match was a lot more tense.
The match was tied 2-2, and McNulty came out on top after a stalling call against her opponent, becoming a state champion in the process.
“It was a lot,” McNulty said. “I was really excited, I was over the moon. I was filled with everything.”
The title wasn’t just an honor for McNulty, but for her family, too.
“It’s incredible,” McNulty’s mother Janice said. “I’m like so proud for the girls. I’m so proud for my daughter, but I’m also proud for what it means for the girls.”
McNulty’s father Matthew said that, despite the sport usually being known as one for the boys, it’s time for the girls to make history.
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“She does not back down, she is a very fierce competitor,” her father said. “So, look out guys, because the girls are coming.”
McNulty said she hopes her victory will inspire other girls not to let tradition get in the way of making their dreams come true.
“I hope that any girl that has ever been interested in wrestling but is scared to join the team sees that other girls have made it,” McNulty said.
McNulty isn’t ready to stop with her state title, with dreams of continuing the sport in college.
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