Ryle High School female wrestler winning championships in a boys’ world

Female Ryle freshman wrestles against boys

UNION, Ky. (FOX19) - It’s easy to find Olivia Messerly because not many people wear a pink shirt and shoes with purple laces on a wrestling mat.

The 14-year-old freshman wrestles at Ryle High School in Union, Kentucky, along with her brother and twin sister.

“Hardest working person we’ve got in the room,” Ryle High School wrestling coach Tim Ruschell said. “Plus she’s mean and you can’t teach mean.”

So what happens when Olivia beats a boy?

“Like, you’ll see them cry. And you’ll see their team go mess with them and you see their parents get mad at them because you just lost to a girl,” Olivia said.

She’s already a two-time girls’ champ in Kentucky and is eligible to wrestle in the boys’ state tournament for the first time.

“For a girl to be tough and mean, and know a little about wrestling, she can handle herself,” Ruschell said.

Olivia’s also a world champ. She won gold at the Under-15 World Championships in Budapest.

“She gets a crowd around her and, especially, when there’s a boy who’s like the big talk, or something like that, and she gets to wrestle them. It’s always a big crowd and very exciting,” Olivia’s brother Carter said.

It’s not just about hard work. Olivia wrestles while she is living with diabetes.

“That’s what pushes me every day. I’m a girl wrestler in a boys’ sport, I have type 1 diabetes, I mean, that’s what I get up and deal with every morning. That’s life, but everyone has their challenges. And that challenge pushes me to work harder every day,” Olivia said.

So where does she hope wrestling takes her?

“Hopefully, to the Olympic training center. I want to get big with it. I want to get sponsored. I mean, I want to win a gold media one day,” Olivia said.

The state meet is this weekend in Lexington.

Messerly flies to Dallas in May to compete in the nationals and a chance to defend her world championship.

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