Several years ago, Skye Schneider’s only experience with wrestling was to watch her brother compete.
That changed when she decided to try it herself two and a half years ago and after almost backing out of practice her first day, has gone on to qualify for the U15 Pan American USA team, which will compete in Mexico City in October against 11 other nations.
Schneider, who is 13 and trains with Elk Grove Wrestling Academy, won her weight class at the 2021 U15 Women’s Nationals in Texas in May, defeating Gabriella Gomez of Illinois in both matches of the finals to earn a spot on the Pan American team.
She competed in seven matches total at nationals and the championship came in her first year of being able to compete for the chance for a spot on the 15U team.
Her national championship continued a growing list of awards for the Kerr Middle School student.
In her first six months of wrestling, Schneider won the California Triple Crown after winning first place for girls wrestling in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco wrestling.
Over the past year, Schneider kept busy by competing in multiple states, including New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada and Arizona. Some of her opponents included state and national champions and against boys when there weren’t enough girls to compete against, according to her mother, Misty Wells.
Schneider, who trains Monday through Friday and competes in tournaments on the weekends, is hoping to earn a wrestling scholarship and to eventually compete and win a gold medal in the Olympics.
Schneider noted she is thankful for her partners at practice for pushing her to work hard, for the support from family and friends and how thankful she is for her coaches, Jim Cook and Nick Jordan, for believing in her, pushing her in practice and for helping her become the athlete that she is.