Budding wrestling stars have been left licking their wounds by a teenage girl who has become the first ever female fighter to win a state school championship in North Carolina.
Boys across the state were comfortably beaten by 16-year-old Heaven Fitch, who was in seventh heaven after coming out on top in a prestigious tournament run by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
She won in the 106lb (48 kg) weight class – an eight-person competition that included her and seven males, three of whom stood glumly alongside Heaven as she beamed for a photo in her winner’s medal.
“I’m really overwhelmed – it’s like insane what I’ve done, it’s not really sunken in yet,” she told WRAL-TV.
She added: “I just wrestled my best and I kind of dominated the (final) match, if I’m honest.”
Heaven, from Uwharrie Charter, beat Luke Wilson of Robbinsville in the final by a comprehensive 11-3 score.
The stunning victory was the perfect way to crown a season that has seen her win 54 matches and lose just four, securing her the crown of most outstanding wrestler in her division.
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Heaven said she “never expected” to have so much success when she started high school, although she has been honing her fighting schools since she grappled with her older brothers as a child.
Her post-match Instagram post showcased plenty of self-confidence, saying: “I did it again, I made history.”