As the first girl on the varsity wrestling team at Milton, Laura Gottesdiener, Class I, competed in both the USGWA Massachusetts Championships and the New England Women’s Tournament over spring break and placed third in her weight class in both competitions. Having been on the track and cross-country teams since her early days here, Laura took up wrestling only this year —something she had never envisioned doing.
“I’ve watched wrestling at Milton since I was an underclassman,” Laura says. “I’ve been involved with track all along and was interested in trying something new. Wrestling seemed like a really good way to get in shape for track, and I’ve always heard that it’s the hardest sport, so I thought it would be a cool thing to try. I was already friends with a bunch of the guys on the team, and they were really welcoming.
“One of the best parts of being on the team was having Mr. Hales and Mr. Hamel as coaches. They’re unbelievable. We had a really strong team this year, so it would have made sense for them to focus their energy and attention just on the boys—the stronger competitors. But they didn’t. They always spent so much time training [the girls] and they would help us whenever we needed it. They’re so supportive and enthusiastic. They just made it such a great experience.
“At the tournaments I traveled with the Andover team. It was amazing to see how competitive and how good the girls are at that level. Because Andover is involved in the New England League, the girls are allowed to compete at the varsity level. I hope that the ISL will soon allow that too.”
Laura’s plans for next year are to attend either Yale or Berkeley where she would like to continue wrestling at the club team level if the opportunity is available.