BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Bald Eagle Area High School head wrestling coach Ron Guenot says the coaching staff knew she was special, even before she started high school.
“We knew she was special when she started wrestling in Junior high,” said Guenot.
A Bald Eagle Area High School wrestler made history a few weeks ago, becoming the first from her school to earn a spot-on Team USA.
“I felt so grateful to be able to have that opportunity, I was just really happy, I was really proud of myself,” said Grace Stem, a Junior Bald Eagle Area High School.
Bald Eagle Junior wrestler Grace Stem took first place at the women’s nationals in Irving, Texas, earning her a spot on the Cadet World Team for Team USA, where she will compete in Budapest.
Stem’s coach, Ron Guenot, credits her success to her work ethic.
“Going to Bald Eagle practices, and then maybe after Bald Eagle practice, she’s going to M2, the wrestling club that she mentioned,” Guenot adds.
“When you have passion for something, you get really good at it, and I think Grace has strong passion for it.”
In addition to competing in Budapest in July, the reigning women’s wrestling state champion says she will continue to be an advocate for making girl’s wrestling a sanctioned PIAA sport.
“Grace is making steps to make that happen here at Bald Eagle, so we’re also proud of the fact that she’s trying to accomplish that,” Guenot continues.
“I try to set the best example I can for girl’s wrestling and hopefully be able to convince more people to grow women’s wrestling,” Stem added.
The PIAA says they will recognize women’s wrestling as a sanctioned sport when there are 100 or more women’s wrestling teams across the state.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.