RUSH CITY (AP) -- A Royalton High School sophomore missed her chance to become the first female to advance to the state tournament when she was beaten in an individual semifinal match, then injury-defaulted her next match with lingering bronchitis.
Rachael Holthaus, 16, had been determined to qualify for this week's state tournament at Xcel Energy Center.
But the dream ended Saturday in the Rush City gymnasium when the 103-pounder was beaten in the semifinals of the Class 1A, Section 6 individual tournament, then defaulted her next match.
The top two individuals in each weight class advance to the state meet.
Her father, John, is the Royals coach. He and his wife, Deb, have been keeping a close eye on their daughter's health. She was diagnosed with bronchitis 10 days ago and was too ill to compete in last weekend's section team tournament.
But the teenager was determined to compete in the section meet.
She opened the section meet Friday night by pinning Braham seventh-grader Allen Kelling. In Saturday's semifinals she lost to Pierz freshman Kyle Bednar 15-0. She finished the season with an 18-3 record.
Holthaus is ranked No. 1 nationally in the 100-pound weight class for high school girls and hopes to make the U.S. team for the 2004 Olympics in Greece. On March 5 she will travel with other U.S. female wrestlers to an international tournament in Sweden; her father will be an assistant coach.
Holthaus entered her first wrestling tournament as a third-grader, and said she is so used to competing against boys that "I never even think about it."
Royalton assistant coach Rick Beam said Holthaus is just like any other wrestler. "She's one of the guys, only with longer hair."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.