RACHEL MCFARLAND LIKES BEING A COMPETITOR OVER SPECTATOR
BY JEFF CHANEY
Rachel McFarland acknowledged that she was tired going and watching
her younger brother Lucas McFarland wrestle in youth tournaments.
She decided to hit the mat herself.
That was the during the eighth grade, and now as a senior on the DeWitt wrestling
team, Rachel McFarland is proving that it was better to become a competitor, rather
than stay a spectator.
“I use to to go to all of his matches, and decided I wanted to try it out,” Rachel McFarland said. “I liked it right away. It's not like any other sport. I like how it can be individual and really intense.”
But she knew she was joining a male-dominated sport.
“I haven't had to deal a lot with anything since I starter,” Rachel McFarland said. “My school ,the coaches and my team has been very supportive since I've started.”
And Rachel McFarland was produced for DeWitt since earning a spot on the varsity team as a freshman at 103 pounds.
Her first year she finished with a 32-17 record, followed by a 36-12 record and a regional berth as a sophomore. Last year as a junior, she was 33-10, and this year as a 112-pounder, McFarland is 15-3.
“She's pretty tough,” DeWitt coach Brian Byars said. “She is looking really good. She just focuses so much on technique and works so hard all the time. And a big part for her and for our team is doesn't see herself as a girl wrestling. That make s a big difference.
She has done so well, that even her mother, Dana McFarland, has come around and loves watching her daughter compete in a rugged sport.
“I love it,” Dana McFarland said. “When she first started, we fought he for about six months, and then said why not. She ended up being undefeated her eighth grade year, which helped her a lot for wanting to do it for high school.
“No, I don't get nervous anymore,” she added. “I was at the beginning. They are all strong, and knew they were all strong. But she started working out and became stronger on the mat.”
Rachel McFarland has done so well, and impressed, that she recently signed to continue her wrestling career at Oklahoma City University, the top female program in the country.
Before that, she has high goals for her the rest of her high school career.
“My goal is to place in the top five (at the Division 2 individual finals),” Rachel McFarland said. “I still have to do a lot of training. I also need to beat other ranked kids above me.”
She just did that recently.
“I think it's realistic (to place at state),” Byars said. “When she is firing on all cylinders, she is tough. She showed that last week when she destroyed the No. 6 ranked kid in the state in Division 2. That was Cody Chase of Owosso, she was winning 8-0 and pinned him. She also lost to some really good kids as well, but that showed she is right there. If she keeps improving, I think she can be on the podium.”
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