By Katie Cofer
Fifteen-year-old Hailey Horton shows what it means to “fight like a girl” and win.
The Hoschton-native earned first place in her weight class at a national wrestling championship in Fargo, North Dakota.
Boys from all 50 states competed last week in the annual wrestling championship — and this year, girls represented 37 states at the competition.
In an interview with a reporter right after she won the 2014 Cadet Nationals women’s 101-pound weight class division, Hailey is asked, “Does this help you set higher goals moving forward knowing that for your age group, you’re the best in the country?”
Hailey replied that it does. She is the first female wrestler in the state of Georgia to earn the title of “cadet” at Fargo.
“Fargo is the biggest tournament in the country,” said Hailey’s mom, Sherry Horton, who along with Hailey’s father, sponsor a statewide girls wrestling league in Flowery Branch. “When competing in Fargo in cadet, you wrestle 9th and 10th graders.”
A rising-ninth grader, Hailey plans to be cyber-schooled and train at Life University where they have a new women’s division in wrestling— a plan slightly different than her goal last year when she was interviewed about joining the wrestling team at Jackson County Comprehensive High School.
By training with a collegiate girls’ wrestling team, Hailey has the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to college through wrestling.
“We want all girls to know they can do anything they put their minds to,” said Sherry Horton, who said girls who are interested in wrestling can go to Team Georgia Girls (https://www.facebook.com/Team.GA.Girls.Wrestling) on Facebook to get started.
The family is working on raising funds for Hailey to compete in national and world competitions.
Hailey’s full interview with USA Wrestling after winning the title is available on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXaDwm6Hbfk.