When her then third-grade daughter, Kendall, brought an informational flyer home about a wrestling club, Kristi Moe never figured it would turn into a passion.
“She brought it home and said she wanted to try it,” Moe said. “I didn’t think anything about it. She never turned back. She’s been doing it ever since.”
When the family moved to Carmel in July 2018, Kendall started wrestling with Carmel USA Wrestling Club. She practices with Contenders Wrestling Academy in Brownsburg and Kriebs Club Wrestling in Pendleton.
“I find it enjoyable because it’s fun,” Kendall said. “I’ve always tackled my sisters when I was little, and I’ve been yelled at for that. It’s fun to get out there and do that. I get to show people who I really am. People don’t think girls can do stuff like that.”
Kendall, 11, has one older sister, three younger sisters and a younger brother.
Kendall, who just completed fifth grade at Prairie Trace Elementary School, wrestles in the 65-pound weight class. She finished fifth in that weight class for 12 and under in last month’s Women’s National Championships for freestyle in Irving, Texas.
Previously, she was part of the first girls team, called the Indiana Ignites, that the Indiana State Wrestling Association sent to the Heartland Duals in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The team went undefeated in the first round April 13 and earned a spot in the Diamond Division April 14.
Kendall won all four matches April 13 and went 1-4 April 14. The team finished third.
“I like that I get to meet all these other people, so it’s really awesome,” Kendall said.
Moe said the girls come together from around the state.
“Kendall and the other girls were saying it’s nice to come together as a team and be with other girls they connect with because they are usually the only girl,” Moe said.
Before wrestling, Kendall said she tried soccer and swimming but didn’t embrace either one.
“During wrestling, I tried gymnastics and it wasn’t really my thing, either,” she said.
“Girls wrestling is growing throughout the country,” Moe said.
Kendall’s father, Skylar, wrestled in high school. None of her siblings wrestle yet.
Carmel Wrestling Club has started a practice for girls only at 5 p.m. Sundays in the wrestling room of Carmel High School. There is no charge and all abilities are welcome, Moe said.
For more, visit carmelusawrestling.org.