Del Norte High sophomore Nicole Mattz has already proven herself as one of the best female wrestlers of her age group in the state of California.
Now she will get the chance to face some of the best in the nation.
Mattz will be competing in the 108-pound girls' cadet (born in 1997 or 1998) division at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships, to be held July 12andndash;20 in Fargo, N.D.
"I'm happy to go," Mattz told the Triplicate on Thursday. "I'm kind of nervous because I don't know what it's going to be like, but my family's going back with me."
Mattz will head to Los Angeles on Wednesday to practice under the tutelage of Marcie Van Dusen, a 2008 U.S. Olympian in women's wrestling, at Beat The Streets - Los Angeles, a youth wrestling development organization.
There, she will continue her reacclimation to freestyle wrestling, the style performed at the national championships. (California high schools engage in folkstyle wrestling. Freestyle wrestling involves fewer periods in competition and a modified scoring system.)
Mattz earned her spot at the national championships by finishing third in the 108-pound girls' cadet division at the California USA Wrestling Cadet Boys and Girls Freestyle State Championships, held April 26andndash;28 in Fresno.
The top two finishers will join Mattz at the national championships and in Los Angeles at the Beat The Streets training facility.
During the high school wrestling season, Mattz finished third at 106 pounds at the California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section Girls Wrestling Championships on Feb. 9. She qualified to participate in the CIF Girls Wrestling State Individual Championships on Feb. 23, but lost her first match and forfeited her second.
Reach Robert Husseman at firstname.lastname@example.org.