Allison Blaine of Hudson’s Bay hopes to repeat this year
VANCOUVER — Her dad told her she could give wrestling a shot.
Her mom was apprehensive at first.
Allison Blaine made the most of that opportunity, and turned her mom into quite the wrestling fan, too.
Years later, Blaine turned herself into a state champion.
A year ago, Blaine won the 135-pound weight class in girls wrestling at Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome.
Now a junior at Hudson’s Bay, she is hoping to repeat next month. This week, she is planning to compete at the Clark County Championships at Battle Ground High School. When she is introduced, the announcer is sure to describe her as a state champion. That will be just another special moment in what has been a special time.
“It’s so crazy. Eleven months. Almost a year ago,” she said, shaking her head. “A lot of people know my name now. It’s cool. It’s cool to be recognized for something you’ve put a lot of work into.”
That work started long before she was in high school.
Allison Blaine was 5 years old, watching her older brother train in the sport.
“I was sitting on the side, really bored,” she remembered. “I asked my dad if I could get on the mat.”
Chris said yes.
Friday and Saturday at Battle Ground High School. Boys tourney begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Boys and girls wrestle all day Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. Finals for boys and girls are tentatively scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday Tickets: $10 a day, $5 for seniors, students. Or $20 for a family of four.
2019 Clark County Wrestling Championships
Friday and Saturday at Battle Ground High School.
Boys tourney begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Boys and girls wrestle all day Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Finals for boys and girls are tentatively scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $10 a day, $5 for seniors, students. Or $20 for a family of four.
Her mom, Amy, did not want her daughter to get hurt. She acquiesced, with one condition. Allison could try one youth tournament. But if she got hurt …
“I did pretty good. I think I won my first match,” Allison recalled. “After that, my mom loved it. She fell in love with the sport. Now, she’s the one telling me I need to toughen up.”
While she appreciates her parents for helping her start on this journey, Allison has to give credit to older brother Aaron for really lighting the fire.
“‘I wanted to watch him wrestle and learn from him,” Allison said. “I always wanted to be just like him. He’s influenced me a lot.”
Back then, there were very few girls on the mat. Blaine said she is proud to be part of the sport’s growing popularity.
Still, it’s not nearly as big, participation wise, as boys wrestling. At Mat Classic, the boys wrestle in five classifications. There is only one classification for girls.
Locally, the Clark County championships do not yet have full brackets for every weight class in girls. Still, it is a fun, local tournament for Blaine and other athletes from the area. Most of their tournaments are outside of the county. This week, they get to show off their skills close to home.
After this weekend, Mat Classic will be a month away.
She won it last year. Only thing to do is win it again this year.
“There is no other option,” Blaine said.
She had lost in the semifinals as a freshman.
“That left a sour taste in my mouth. I lost one match, and that was the one that cost me the state championship,” she said. “It just made me work harder for the next year.”
Last year, as she prepared for the championship match, emotions almost got the best of her.
“I was so nervous, I wanted to throw up,” Blaine said. “I went off to the side, by myself, just put on my headphones, danced and sang out loud. I couldn’t focus on the match too much.”
Oh yes, athletes and their music. It can be fun to hear what the best athletes listen to in preparation for big events.
Blaine, though, will not reveal, publicly, what she listened to that night.
“There are a lot of bad words in it,” she said with a smile. “It just distracts me. I was trying to get hyped. It has a good beat.”
Whatever it was, it worked.
Her arm was raised after the match.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I’ve won tournaments before, but never anything that big.”
With that wrestling goal achieved, Blaine turned her focus to something completely out of the ordinary. This fall, she went out for cheer, and made the Hudson’s Bay squad.
“I always wanted to try, and that was another opportunity to try something new in high school,” Blaine said. “I like doing my best for the school. I’m a product of them.”
If all goes according to her plan this winter, she will be winning another state championship for Hudson’s Bay.