On Oct. 11, junior Cassy Lopez became the first female wrestler to win the Triple Crown Award at the Maryland State Wrestling Association (MSWA). Lopez has been recognized by the MSWA for her impressive wrestler achievement by winning in all three styles of wrestling — Folkstyle, Freestyle, and Greco Roman. Lopez stands out from the other recipients because she is the Maryland State Champion who went undefeated versus other girls.
“To me, it’s a big accomplishment to have reached this far in the sport,” said Lopez. “I never would have dreamed that I could have done this. It feels really good; however, I know I still have a lot of work and hard training ahead of me. I want to continue to push myself at getting better. I hope that this will motivate other girls to wrestle. It’s an amazing sport.”
Following Lopez’s outstanding achievement, she and her Mt. Hebron coaches, David Lucania and Daniel Harman, met Olympic wrestling gold medalists Helen Maroulis and Kyle Snyder, both from Maryland.
“It was an honor to have met them,” said Lopez. “I look up to both of them. They’re amazing athletes. I have a small idea of what they’ve gone through to get where they are. I’m very proud to have met them. I’m proud to be a wrestler like them. Let’s not forget they’re both from Maryland! That makes it even more special to me.”
Maroulis, a Greek-American freestyle wrestler, began her wrestling career in Rockville, Maryland. She is known for competing in the women’s 55-kg and 53-kg categories. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Maroulis became the first American to achieve a gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling at the Olympic Games.
Like Lopez, Snyder also made his high school proud. During Snyder’s first three years, he achieved a 179-0 record. Today, he is not only an Olympic medalist, but he is also the youngest World Champion in American wrestling history.
Lopez’s coaches have played a major role in her wrestling career. From long practices to wonderful heartfelt victories on the mat, she is grateful for what they have done to help her get to where she is today.
“I thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their team. Without them, I would have never wrestled,” said Lopez.
Not only is Lopez known for the Triple Crown, but she is also recognized as the only female wrestler at Mt. Hebron. The Vikings filled the stands to encourage her and the rest of her team during matches, and Lopez always remained confident with her coaches’ support. Her hard work, dedication, and determination push her to win every match.
“I thank [my coaches] for believing in me, believing that I could wrestle and hold my ground, especially against boys,” Lopez said. “I really appreciate all of them and will thank them for getting me this far. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am — a wrestler.”