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Former Martin County West Maverick chasing Olympic dream

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2021 at 8:27 PM CDT
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SHERBURN, Minn. (KEYC) — After winning a Pan-American Wrestling Championship earlier this month, Sherburn native says Katie Lange isn’t done.

She plans to wrestle at Augsburg University this year and hopes to one day compete in the Olympics.

“I started when I was three or four. I went to one of my brother’s practices, and I just saw people on the mat fighting and thought that’s what I want to do, that’s my sport,” said Lange.

Fast-forward to 2021 and after years of success on the mat, the former Martin County West Maverick is one of the most dominant wrestlers in the United States and proved it in Mexico by winning the 65-kilogram Pan-Am title.

“When I was flying the flag around the international mats, I was just thinking, there are so many people that have gotten me to this point. It’s not only a win for me, but for the entire community,” said Lange.

The work doesn’t stop now after a big performance on the international stage. Lange’s goal is to eventually make an Olympic team.

“My next step would be to make the world team. I think that’s my next milestone. To do that, I have to take first at team trials, I’ll be training for that,” said Lange.

This year’s Ms. Minnesota will sharpen her skills for the team trials competition at Augsburg, the only college in Minnesota to offer women’s wrestling.

“Who you surround yourself with is a huge thing in how you get to your goals. I always want to surround myself with people that I know have dreams as big as me that are going to chase them. I know they’ll push me as well. Just being in those facilities, able to train with people like that, is a big deal. I think they’ll push me to where I want to be,” Lange added.

Lange hopes her journey in wrestling paves the way for the younger generation of female wrestlers.

“I don’t want them to be scared to join the sport. I hope to inspire them to have the same dreams or even bigger dreams than me. I want them to know that with hard work and if it’s something you really want, just go out and get it,” said Lange.

Lange’s message comes as opportunities in the sport continue to grow, especially in Minnesota after the state high school league voted to add a girls’ wrestling state tournament for the 2021-2022 season.

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