Heaven Fitch was 6 years old when the wrestling bug first hit her. Growing up with older brothers who wrestled, the North Carolina girl was fascinated, and she started pestering her parents to let her do the same. "They didn't want me to wrestle," she told the Independent Tribune in 2018. "I'm pretty sure it was because they didn't want me to get hurt. But I would just be like, 'Well, if they can do it, then I should be able to do it.'" The Fitches succumbed to their little girl's wishes, and a decade later, they're likely not regretting their decision: On Saturday, Heaven became the first female to win the North Carolina High School Athletic Association individual wrestling state championship, Yahoo Sports reports.
Heaven, a junior at Asheboro's Uwharrie Charter Academy, wrestled in the 106-pound division at the Greensboro meet, vying for the win in an eight-person competition with seven boys, per the Guardian. She came away from her final faceoff with an 11-3 major decision, HighSchoolOT.com reports. WGHP has video of her win and exuberant reaction."I kind of dominated the match, if I'm being honest," she says, per WTVD. Heaven ended her season with a 54-4 record, as well as an award for most outstanding wrestler in the 1A classification. "I'm just glad I can be a role model for people younger than me," she says. "It's so insane to be inspiring to others." There may be other Heaven Fitches soon: An NCHSAA rep tells CNN there are about 300 girls currently taking part in association-sanctioned wrestling. (Read more wrestling stories.)