Soroco High School's Lauryn Bruggink and Hayden High School's Chad Terry prepare to wrestle for the regional championship in February. Bruggink finished seventh in women's freestyle at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships on Monday in Fargo, N.D.
Steamboat Springs Lauryn Bruggink gets offended when people ask her whether she'll wrestle again. Of course, the rising Soroco sophomore is used to the question and to the critics of her wrestling at the high school level.
But Bruggink doesn't let it bother her, and judging by her results, no one really should.
Bruggink - who qualified for the state high school wrestling tournament last year and became the first female wrestler to score a point at the Colorado High School State Tournament - recently added an All-American tag next to her name.
Bruggink finished seventh in women's freestyle at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships on Monday in Fargo, N.D.
Wrestling for Team Colorado, Bruggink went 3-2 at the tournament, losing to second-place finisher Kayla Brendlinger and third-place finisher Paige Nemec.
"It was definitely rough," she said. "There were some pretty tough girls. Some of them wrestle girls in high school where they have girls wrestling. Others have to wrestle the boys like me. It was freestyle, and it's a little bit different. It definitely wasn't the easiest tournament."
A camp in North Dakota took place before the tournament. She called the camp the most intense one she has ever been to.
Although freestyle wrestling is a different style than she wrestles in high school, Bruggink said the camp was beneficial.
Not only did she get to meet other female wrestlers, but she also worked on techniques she said will help her when next season rolls around.
"To be honest, it's the best thing I could have done," she said. "I hope it helps me a lot. I learned a lot. Freestyle is different, but wrestling is wrestling."
The seventh-place finish also put Bruggink on the national map in a way. She always considered wrestling past high school, and she hopes her success will create scholarship opportunities.
Bruggink, who also plays volleyball and runs track and field, said now that she is an All-American, her lofty goals for the high school season shouldn't be unexpected.
Bruggink doesn't just want to become the first girl in Colorado history to win a match at the state tournament, she wants to be the first to place.
"To be honest with you, at the end of my high school career, going to state isn't about winning a match or just scoring a point," she said. "I'm a wrestler just like the rest of the boys."