The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 8, 2005

Features

Victoria Prete: a proud member of CCHS wrestling team
Yes, there was a girl on the boys wrestling team, which had a successful 20-2 record season. Unfortunately, her name was missing from the Mosquito's CCHS winter sports roundup that appeared in the March 25 issue. In order to set the record straight, we met with Victoria Prete of Prospect Street last week to learn more about her experience as a three-year participant on Coach Bob Walker's wrestling team.

The Prete family moved from Natick to Carlisle three years ago, in time for Victoria to begin her sophomore year at Concord-Carlisle High School. She had been a basketball player for her school teams since sixth grade. Starting school in the fall of 2002 at CCHS, Prete went out for the girls field hockey team. "My father is an advocate for three-season sports," Prete reported. At the end of the field hockey season, Prete considered joining the swim team since she had lost interest in basketball. Over the fall, one of the friends she made at the school was Alex Klinov, a member of the boys wrestling team. "Alex urged me to join the team. No one thought I could do it. 'Girls don't wrestle,' I was told. I did it to prove I could."

"I was surprised to find the coach very supportive," said Prete. "I heard that he had said he wouldn't let the guys wrestle girls, but he changed his mind. The boys on my team didn't mind practicing with me, but the boys on opposing teams hated wrestling with me...It was a lose-lose situation for boys. If they won, it wasn't a big deal, but if they lost, it was embarrassing. Sometimes they'd cry and have a tantrum. It was a win-win for girls. If a girl lost to a boy, it was not a big deal. If she won, people got excited and were shocked." Prete added that her teammates were nice to her. "During my sophomore year, the boys didn't expect me to win and were shocked if I did. By my junior and senior years, they got used to me winning." One parent who attended many of the meets remarked, "Vickie had a lot of heart. She was a dedicated member of the team." Her teammates, when contacted by the Mosquito, heartily agreed.

The only schools in Massachusetts Prete knows of that have girls wrestling teams are Canton High School, Phillips Andover Academy, Weston High School and Lowell Vocational. "During my first season on the team [in 2002], there were girls on the boys teams in Lexington and Watertown. By my third season, [2004-05], the number of girls wrestling had tripled." As of now, Prete reports, there appear to be no girls signing up for next year's CCHS boys wrestling team.

Prete's legacy

During her three years on the wrestling team, Prete amassed an almost .500 record against boys. At the same time she was undefeated in regular seasons against all females at several weights. Prete has wrestled in the 130-to-156 lbs. category. Three weeks ago Prete wrestled at the Nationals in Michigan and placed third, losing only to Vanessa Oswalt, the national champion in the 144 lbs. division.

The following is a list of Victoria Prete's records in post-season women's events:

•2004 MA State-sponsored champion at 130 lbs.

•2004 RI State-sponsored champion at 136 lbs.

•2004 NJ State-sponsored champion at 140 lbs.

•2005 NJ State-sponsored champion at 145 lbs.

•2005 New England-sponsored champion at 156 lbs. (Prete's weight that day was 144 lbs.)

•2004 New England-sponsored champion at 136 lbs.

•2004 Nationals held in Michigan, 7th place at 136 lbs.

•2005 Nationals held in Michigan, 3rd place 144 lbs.

Prete, who finished up her senior year at mid-term with enough credits to graduate, is studying at the Palmer Institute of Massage in Salem. She is planning to do sports massage with athletes in a local gym over the summer, and expects to continue with it during her college years. As for wrestling in college, she admits to being recruited by several colleges, but declares she has no interest in continuing with the sport. "It was a high school thing. It's very intensive in college; it's for those heading to the Olympics. For me, wrestling was a hobby," said Prete.

On to fashion design

In the fall Prete will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. " I was always a tomboy," admits Prete. "As compensation, I've been interested in fashion since the fourth grade. It was a way to balance my life."

Prete had a few final thoughts to share about wrestling: "I would recommend girls take up wrestling; it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about myself. The girl wrestlers I met seemed more comfortable with themselves and they were a lot more interesting. It takes a lot [of courage] to be an anomaly."


2005 The Carlisle Mosquito