You will not see Leila Castro wrestle at the upcoming Ohio High School Athletic Association State Tournament.
She did not attempt to qualify.
But wrestlers around Ohio know exactly who she is.
Castro, a 16-year-old junior, wrestles for her high school team at New Lexington. She trains with the boys and wrestles in matches for the varsity team.
High school wrestling is known as “folkstyle” wrestling, with a different style and scoring system than you’ll find in national competitions and the Olympics. That’s called “freestyle” and that’s where Leila excels.
She’s a 4-time girl’s national champion in wrestling, winning titles in each style, and last year she finished 5th in the world championships in her age group and weight class.
Castro’s one of the best young female wrestlers in America.
But at New Lex, she’s happily just part of the team.
Her father was an MMA and Jiu-Jitsu competitor who turned the family garage into a wrestling room.
When Leila got into the 5th grade, she decided to take up wrestling, training with her dad and older brother.
She eventually hopes to challenge for a world title and a spot on the Olympic team.
She opted not to compete in this year’s high school state tournament to focus on her freestyle training and upcoming national competitions.