Female wrestlers competing at historic state championship

Female wrestlers competing at state championship

McPherson, Kansas — History will be made Thursday when more than a 100 wrestlers will compete in the first-ever state championships just for girls. That includes Nicky Moore.

The 18-year-old is a country girl, no stranger to hard work and nothing can keep her down on the farm or anywhere else.

Moore has been wrestling boys for years, on the Nickerson High varsity squad.  She is one of five girls on the team.

"I don't know if anyone could have seen this coming," Moore jokingly tells CBS News.

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Nicky Moore CBS News

She still remembers being bullied as a kid.

"I was really quiet. I kinda walked with my head down. I stayed by myself," she explained. "I didn't think I was good enough to be where I am today."

Today, she ranks No. 1 In the state in her female weight class and third in the nation.

With a shot at the 2024 Olympics, she's on her way to clinch her first state title. That was made possible by coach Doug Kretzer and his daughter Mya.

"It kinda takes a girl that's serious about wrestling to convince a coach that it's a worthy endeavor," Kretzer said.

They went to the mat to get girls wrestling recognized as an official sport.

"It was never easy, like competing and being on a team full of boys," Mya explained. "Day and night, like you wrestle with these people.  Like it's really like difficult."

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Maddi Miller CBS News

It was four years before there was a girls team — too late for Mya — but not for hundreds of others, including Nickerson heavy weight Maddi Miller, who says wrestling gave her self confidence.

"I don't think I would be such an outgoing and a happy person like I am now if I didn't do wrestling," Miller told CBS News.

Miller walked into regionals, undefeated, and now eyes the state title.

"I didn't have to look very far today to see a lot of girls with big smiles on their faces and excited about their wins and heartbroken when they lost ... because they had a chance to compete," coach Kretzer said.