LAST YEAR Michaela Hutchison followed in the footsteps of her older sister Melina, who in 1999 became the first girl to compete in the Alaska high school wrestling championships; Michaela wrestled in the state tournament and finished second. Last weekend she emulated her older brothers Eli and Zeb, both of whom have won state titles. In doing so, Michaela, who beat Aaron Boss to win the 103-pound title, became the first girl in U.S. history to win a state championship competing against boys.
It was hardly an upset. Michaela, 16, went into the tournament ranked No. 1 in the state. She had 33 pins this year, one shy of the Alaska record, and one boy that she pinned 47 seconds into a match said that he had "expected it." At the state tournament, in Chugiak, Michaela was the overwhelming crowd favorite. After she scored the only point of her match with Boss on an escape with 16 seconds left, the crowd of 2,000 roared--then counted off the final seconds. "They were helping me," she told the Anchorage Daily News. "I've been waiting for this for a while."