Oklahoma City University recently established a varsity women's wrestling program " the first such program in the state.
Just two years ago, OCU didn't have a male or female wrestling program, but it lured coach Archie Randall away from his championship high school program in El Reno to develop both. The men's team started last year, leading the way for this season's debut of the women's squad, which held its first home match against University of the Cumberlands last Saturday.
"This campus has always been an innovator where they try to create opportunities for kids," Randall said. "There are a multitude of girls in the nation that wrestle, but there is nowhere for them to go. There were only six colleges that had women's programs, and this was a good opportunity for us to start a program."
Wrestlers from all across the country came to OCU for the chance to train with high-level talent, including Christina Varland from Douglas, Wyo. She was the only girl in her high school's squad and had to wrestle guys.
"Sometimes guys would go, 'Oh, I've got to wrestle a girl, ha-ha-ha,' so you just had to go out there and prove them wrong," Varland said. "Girls are tough. They have a different style. You'd think wrestling guys and then going to girls would be nothing, but they've been through everything you've been through and the competition is right up there." "Charles Martin