Full Name: Theresa Rankin
Birthday: December 2nd, 1997
School: Grass Lake High School
Wrestling Club: Team Michigan and Team USA
Hometown: Grass Lake, Michigan
Weight Class: 108 Cadet; 112 Juniors / High School
Most significant wins/accomplishments: USGWA National Championship; War of the Roses Triple Crown Champion (Greco Roman, Folk-style, and Freestyle); Michigan Championship; Ohio Championship; Queen of Kings Championship; Northern Regional Championship; USAW National Folk-style Championship
Theresa Rankin is at the top of her game. Destined for greatness, this girl brings strength, passion, and sheer toughness to the sport of wrestling. We have been glad to have her along for the Quest, and she is certainly on her way to becoming one of the greats! We wish Theresa the best of luck in her future. Be sure to read on and check out Theresa's thoughts on wrestling, academics, and all the other fun things in life.
Why do you enjoy wrestling?
I love the challenge of head to head competition. If I lose, it is my own fault and I have to work harder to improve. It is a combination of skill, endurance, technique, strength, heart, strategy, and desire. There is the opportunity to excel and get better. I want to be one of the best in the country.
What's the most important thing wrestling has taught you?
I believe that I have learned that hard work, dedication, and attention to detail can make you better as a wrestler but also as a person and in life. Perfecting your technique and identify your weaknesses allows you to have a laser like focus on improving and becoming better. Getting better does not come with age, it comes through hard work, sweat, blood, and tears. Sometimes you can learn more from a loss than a win. It can motivate you to train harder and allows you to see where your opponent attacked you and was successful. Next time, through hard work, the outcome can be different. You have to work harder and want it more than the others. Being in shape and strong mentally pays off on the mat.
What's the best advice your coach has given you?
I think it is the attention to detail and to continually work on perfecting technique. Learning from the losses and choosing to be better not bitter. It is important to have confidence that you can hit your move and finish it. It is going that extra step and working longer and harder to be in shape. I have been told to keep it simple and to perfect different moves so the opponents can’t defend them. Hard work, sweat, and tears pays off and the taste of victory makes it all worth it in the end.
How do you handle tough defeats?
I hate losing more than anything. With each tough loss, it gives me more desire to become better. I turn the losses into motivation and I force myself to pay attention to the little things in order to perfect my technique. This helps me become better and more confident on the mat.
What’s your proudest achievement as a wrestler?
I have won state, regional, and national titles, however, this last year I won the Body Bar FILA Cadet Women’s Freestyle Championship in Texas. When I received my USA gear prior to going to the World Championships in Slovakia, I was awed by the fact that I was one of eight girls in the whole country that would be representing the USA in the World Championships. That was an awesome and proud moment. I also was able to help the USA Cadet team win the Nordhagen Dual Championship wearing the USA singlet. The only thing better would be to represent the USA in the Olympics and/or win a world championship. When I wrestle on the world stage, I am representing myself, my family, my home town of Grass Lake, Team Michigan, and Team USA. That is an awesome privilege and honor!
What's your favorite wrestling move?
It would have to be the bulldog. People know it is coming and yet most of them can’t stop it when I hit it well. I also love being on my feet and looking for the ankle pick, sweep single, or the fireman’s.
Do you have a hero/role model?
My parents and older brother are my hero’s and role models. The have helped me become the person that I am today through encouragement, support, hard work, and tough love. They help me handle success with dignity and humility but they also help me show good sportsmanship in losses. They are the ones that have taught me to learn from my losses, continue to improve, and never be satisfied with my successes. Once you become satisfied with status quo then you are no longer improving and becoming better. They love me and the Lord and they have taught me to treat others the way I want to be treated. They have taught me to be positive and to always look on the bright side. Things happen for a reason and we can’t dwell on things we don’t like because there is a purpose for everything. These beliefs help me in all aspects of my life; academic, athletic, socially, and spiritually.
What's your favorite subject in school?
I enjoy history, if lunch and gym do not count. Obviously, sports and gym are something that I enjoy and could do them all day long. However, academically, I have enjoyed learning about history and I enjoy watching the history channel. It is amazing to study the past and then look at the present to see how far we have come over that last 200 or so years. The changes, inventions, and wars over the years has shaped our world as we know it today. We can learn from the past and only imagine what the future holds.
Do you play any sports aside from wrestling?
Yes, I have played varsity softball as a freshman and sophomore. My high school team has been conference champs the last five years and district champs the last three years. It was an honor being selected for varsity as a freshman on an outstanding team. I was the only freshman and it was a little intimidating at first but I proved that I had the skill to compete at that level. Last year (sophomore), I was all-conference, all-district, and all-regional while batting over .400 and an on-base average of over .500. I also led my team in steals. This year (junior), I was selected as a captain and my goals are to increase my averages at the plate and make all-state. As a team, I want our team to win conference, districts, and regionals in order to compete for a state championship.
Do you have any other hobbies outside of wrestling?
Yes, I am a member of my Church Youth Group and I have participated in Missionary Trips. These trips make me realize how good I have it back home but it also is sad to see the conditions and environments that some people have to live. I like helping others and I realize that we can all make a difference. Regardless of my wrestling career or profession, I know that I can make a difference by helping others.
What are your goals for your wrestling career?
I want to be a world champion and I want to make the Olympic team to represent the USA at the Olympics.
What are your goals for the next 1-5 years?
I will be graduating from High School and I want to achieve my 100 win against boys and qualify for the State Boy Championships in Michigan. I want to be able to wrestle at the college level and be a university champion. I am already looking at colleges and wrestling programs. I need to decide what career that I want to pursue in order to make a final selection on what college to attend. I need to make sure that my wrestling and college career will produce a degree in a field that I will enjoy working for the rest of my life after wrestling.
.What is your biggest area where you could improve?
I believe that I need to learn how to defend some moves of my opponents. I wrestled a girl from another country who wrestles and does judo. She hit me with a couple of throws and I did not defend them well. I will learn how to recognize those moves so I can defend them in the future so that does not happen again. It is these experiences that cause me to never be satisfied with status quo but to always be looking for ways to improve. Working for perfection is an allusive and unattainable goal but I realize that is the only way to be the best that I can.
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