Flathead female wrestler to represent Montana on world stage


KALISPELL, Mont. - Tilynne Vasquez has made more history, as she is now the only high school woman wrestler from the state of Montana to qualify for the United States national team.

After her freshman year at Flathead High School she became the first woman to place in the state tournament, and next month she is headed to Argentina to represent her country.

Wrestling is the family business for the Vasquez family. Father Rich is a longtime coach in the Kalispell area, and Tilynne's brother, Trae, is a two-time state champion.

Rich enrolled his sons in a wrestling program at the age of 4, but Tilynne was hesitant to join.

"I wasn't too into it. I would just rather stay at home and play with my dolls," she said.

Tilynne is excited about the opportunity to represent Montana and to help increase female participation in high school wrestling.

"It's awesome; I'm the first girl in Montana to do it and it's a big leap to make," she said.

In high school Tilynne has to compete in the boys division, but her success has helped the sport grow for younger girls.

"It's growing, it's really exploding, and I think she's beginning to realize how big of a part of that she's become. A lot of young girls we have going now and you see are numbers are growing," said Rich Vasquez.

Tilynne says she will carry state pride with her overseas.

"I want to prove that here in Montana we can represent well, we can be the best in America at the things we do. I definitely have a lot of support from the community and my family and friends here, so it definitely pushes me to try my best and continually strive for my best," Vasquez said.

She says her big brother has been instrumental in her success.

"He pushes me a lot. That guy is always there for me, my cutting weight, all my workouts. He's a great partner. Just a great person to have," she said.

Her dad could not have any more admiration for his daughter.

"She's a disciplined young lady. She does things the right way. She works hard in school, works hard at home and works hard on the wrestling mat," Rich said.

Tilynne will be training in Ohio prior to heading to Argentina to compete with her new teammates. ?