Denver East’s Maya Nelson finished second at her 5A wrestling regional at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood.
She is the first female wrestler ever to qualify for the 5A state wrestling championships.
“It’s been my goal since my freshman year. I wanted to get down to the Pepsi Center and I’m glad I finally did,” Nelson told 9NEWS.
She entered regionals with an impressive 28-10 record and quickly proved it was no fluke. Nelson rolled through the bracket winning her matches 15-0, 10-0, and then the semifinal 4-0. She was finally stopped in the championship match by Bear Creek’s Jaysen Yakobson who won by a major decision of 11-3.
The top four finishers at every regional advance to state. So Nelson’s second place finish is more than good enough for a trip to the Pepsi Center.
One year ago, Grand Valley’s Cody Pfau became the first female to ever win a first round match at state and proceed to wrestle on the championship side of the bracket. Nelson’s goal is to build off Pfau’s accomplishments and become the first female to ever make the podium.
“It’s neat. I just want to let people know that this is a sport for everyone. Anybody can do this and I’m really excited.”