Grove's lone female wrestler, Haven Pennington, has brought home championship hardware.
Pennington competed in the 2017 Girls National's at the Ford Truck Center in Tulsa on January 20-21. Competing in the 115 lbs. weight class, Pennington went 3-0 in the tournament in the 15 & under division, including defeating Devin Patton of San Antonio, Texas in the finals.
In 2016, Patton defeated Pennington in the semi-finals by decision, 10-1.
"My goal last year after I finished third, going 3-1, was to make it to the finals this year. [Patton] had beat me 10-1 last year and I wasn't going to let it happen again. I ended up pinning her last period. I was giving it all I had. I really wanted it! Beating [Patton] shows how much I've improved and it shows putting in work makes you better and it means a lot to get that victory," said Pennington.
Pennington says that she is motivated by her win to keep her weight low for future national wins.
As for the rest of the season, Pennington has a few goals.
"[I expect] to stay fit and maintain my weight. I am also going to improve technique and work on it until I have it down," said Pennington.
The athlete believes the sport can teach work ethics.
"Wrestling is a love hate relationship, but it teaches you stuff for the real world. It shows you that if you want something, you have to work for it," said Pennington.
Pennington and the Ridgerunners will be back in action when the team hosts Locust Grove at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24, in Grove.