With girls high school wrestling debuting this academic school year in Oklahoma, the sport needs an elite student-athlete to help publicize and legitimize its debut.
It has it in Broken Arrow junior Olivia Brown.
Brown has won four national tournaments the past two years and is currently the top-ranked girls heavyweight in the country.
“I don’t think I’ve ever really seen a high school heavyweight move the way she moves,” said Broken Arrow girls wrestling coach Cassidy Jasperson. “I don’t think many high school lightweights can move the way she moves. It’s pretty incredible to watch.”
Much of Brown’s agility comes from martial arts. She started jiu jitsu at age five and has earned her black belt. Good bloodlines don’t hurt either. Her dad was an accomplished wrestler and competed in college at Cornell.
“It wasn’t really the physical aspect that I needed to adjust to,” said Brown. “It was the mental aspect and being able to push myself and not give up and to keep going.”
“She puts pressure on her opponents,” added Jasperson. “She moves them around. She’s one of those heavyweights that’s constantly taking shots. She’s going to keep the pressure on until the girls literally just give up.”
In order to improve, Brown regularly practices against girls that are lighter than her, forcing her to compete against quicker opponents.
“Wrestling some of the smaller girls that are faster keeps me on my toes more and pushes me,” admitted Brown.
“She’s getting great workouts with the girls,” said Jasperson. “She’s extremely coachable, which I love. It would be easy to come in content because you’re much better than them, but she’s very coachable and an all around great girl.”
With the sport being so new in Oklahoma, sometimes its hard for Brown to find quality competition. There are only a handful of schools with full rosters. The Tigers are travelling as far as Dallas this season to compete.
“I really like being one of the pioneers for women’s wrestling,” claimed Brown. “We’re showing that we can wrestle and we can win state championships just like the boys. We have such a legacy at Broken Arrow for being one of the best wrestling schools in the state. We’re going to be the best as well.”
Brown has no plans on hanging up her wrestling shoes when she graduates next year. She wants to wrestle in college and hopes to one day compete on an international level as well.
“I definitely hope so,” beamed Brown.