High school wrestler Brianna Ta beat a number of boys at regional competitions last weekend, and on Friday she'll be the first girl from the region to step on the mat at the state championship.
Brianna attends Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where they have seven girls on the wrestling team. They're trying to take down their fellow students and also tackle stereotypes.
"It's just you and your opponent on the mat. So all of your hard work that you put in is there and everyone can see it," Brianna said during a break from practicing.
She said she was thrilled to be headed to the state championship.
"I thought it was a dream still," she said. "I almost, like, happy-cried."
Many of the girls on the team did martial arts growing up. Wrestling in high school seemed like a natural choice.
Wrestler Ananya Bagai said her teammates try to lift each other up.
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"Especially with the stigma that kinda comes with wrestling, like it’s a guy’s sport, it’s really cool to see how accepting the rest of the team is," she said.
The team cheered on Brianna on Thursday, in her last few hours of practice before she got ready to blaze a trial, one tackle at a time.
The team is hoping to recruit more girls and possibly even start an all-girls team.