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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Junior becomes first Central girl wrestler to make state tournament

Ellen+Purl%2C+pictured+in+2023.+Photo+Credit%3A+Flight+Yearbook
Ellen Purl, pictured in 2023. Photo Credit: Flight Yearbook

Junior Ellen Purl will be the first female wrestler from Central to attend the IHSA state tournament on Feb. 23 after placing second at regionals and winning one match at sectionals to qualify.

Purl went into regionals unseeded, with 25 girls in the weight class. To advance, Purl had to place top six. Purl wrestled in two sectional matches, losing one and winning her qualifying match in double overtime. 

“It was very stressful,” Purl said. “I tried to think about things that worked for me in the past and stayed away from stuff I was unsure of. I just stayed patient even though it was intense. I was just waiting to see what [the opponent] did.”

The girls’ wrestling team is still new to Central, having officially started only last year and competing only at sectionals last year. 

“We’re excited for her,” Porter said. “We have never had a state qualifier before, so she is the first one in the school’s history, and we are excited to see how she does.”

Purl started wrestling shortly before her sophomore year. She was the top returning wrestler this year and hopes to continue to improve her senior season.

“I want to improve my record and be able to set myself up for even more success in [next year’s] regional and sectional tournaments,” Purl said. “As well as learning new moves and having more variety next year that I can use in different situations.”

As the team is still new to Central, it still only has a few competitors, but their numbers continue to grow yearly.  

“We had three juniors and four freshmen this year,” Porter said. “They all exceeded my expectations. We were really solid up and down the line, and the girls gave it everything they had all the time.” 

With Purl being the first wrestler to compete at state, she hopes to see the program grow in the future.

“I hope [the win] will motivate more people to try it out and see what it’s like,” Purl said. “The team is starting to be heard more since the news has gone around. Our team was almost double [from last year], and I would love to have even more girls next year. ”

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Zwicky
Evelyn Zwicky, Online Managing Editor & Sports Editor
Evelyn Zwicky is a senior at Naperville Central. This is her second year on Central Times and she enjoys reporting on sporting events the most. Outside of Central Times, she is a lacrosse goalie and plays for Central’s team.
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