Waldorf boasts first Women's Wrestling team in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waldorf boasts first Women's Wrestling team in Iowa

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FOREST CITY (KWWL) -- One Iowa college is offering a first-of-its-kind team for students -- women's wrestling. The program at Waldorf College is in its first year, but already boasts nine ladies on their roster

"All my uncles wrestled, my dad wrestled, I'm the last person in my family to keep it going!" said Alexandra Kovalick.

"I started when I was really little, at the age of three," said Julie Johnsen.

Kovalick and Johnsen chose Waldorf College to receive a quality education. But the main draw for the school was its new Women's Wrestling team. The ladies come from wrestling families, and don't mind early mornings and late nights when it comes to the sport they love.

"You get up at 5:30 in the morning," said Kovalick. "The boys, actually, I think they have it easier cause we lift in the afternoon also, and then we have running workouts too."

Their coach, Dustin Baynes, worked with female wrestlers in college. When he saw the Waldorf job posting he jumped at the opportunity.

"Anytime I tell somebody I'm a women's wrestling coach, they're like, really? Women's wrestling? Tell me about it. Which is fine, most of them it's not negative, it's just intrigue, and curious," he said.

The program is growing from an initial team of five, to the current nine members. Even the men's wrestling team is impressed with the women's skill.

"They raise the playing field, they don't want to be disrespected by taking it easy on them. I learned to respect wrestling a girl," said male wrestler Venel Rene.

The women say, their male high school teammates were equally supportive of having a girl on the team. However, they have faced opponents who refused to go head-to-head.

"And it was just a win on my record, and that was that. There was no glory, nothing. No sweat, nothing," said Johnsen.

It's this kind of passion for the sport that keeps the female wrestling roster growing.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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