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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

As good as gold

Campbell ends season as state wrestling champion

As a high school athlete, winning a state championship is a dream many have but few are able to achieve. For sophomore Jordyn Campbell, though, this dream was fulfilled as she took gold at this year’s state wrestling tournament.

“I was so excited,” Campbell said. “All of the emotions just came to me. I started crying tears of joy and it was super exciting looking up and seeing all of my supporters.”
Coming off last year’s fifth-place finish, Campbell used her experience from last year to motivate her throughout the new wrestling season.

Sophomore Jordyn Campbell poses with her state championship bracket. Last year, Campbell placed 5th at the tournament. (Courtesy Photo)

“I wanted to do better, not even record-wise, but just place better than I did last year at state,” Campbell said. “I ended up doing much better than I could ever imagine.”
The road to success wasn’t easy, though. During last year’s state tournament, Campbell sustained an injury, making her out-of-season training difficult.
“Jordyn’s off-season training was a little less this year since she had to have surgery to fix a torn labrum that she sustained at state wrestling last year,” girls wrestling coach Taylor Teeter said. “Jordyn did still compete at the NEUSA State tournament after the season, where she got 5th (before having surgery), but being a multisport athlete, she moved into softball season when she had recovered from her surgery.”
Although Campbell physically recovered from her injury fairly quickly, she found the mental and emotional aspects harder to overcome.
“It took a lot of good mentality to get past it,” Campbell said. “Injuries are one thing, physically, they do damage, but it’s hard emotionally and mentally to get past it. I think just being able to mentally move past it was the hardest part.”
With physical therapy and the support of her parents and coaches, she was able to move past the injury and focus on the road—and the opponents—ahead, including former teammate Aubrie Pehrson, who was the returning state champion in her weight class.
“Subdistricts, I saw some people that I hadn’t seen, so that was just to get more styles under my belt,” Campbell said. “Districts, I saw Aubrie in the finals and I saw her in my semifinal match. I got to see her before state also. It was good to be able to figure her style out before seeing her at state.”
Finishing second at districts, Campbell punched her ticket to state. Although she had been there before, she viewed the environment as something she would never forget.
“It was electric,” Campbell said. “You can’t explain how exciting it is to be in the moment and soak it all in. It really is a crazy experience.”
On the strategic side, Campbell decided to focus on each match as it came.
“My mindset was to just take one match at a time and not look at the next matches,” Campbell said. “Obviously, you want to be prepared, but you don’t want to overthink it.”
This strategy resulted in wins over her Seward, Arlington and O’Neill opponents and soon her finals opponent from Weeping Water, whom Campbell beat with a pin in the second period.

Campbell starts her match against her Weeping Water opponent in the neutral position. Campbell beat her opponent in the second period. (Courtesy Photo)

“Winning it all was just an insane feeling. It was super exciting,” Campbell said. “The atmosphere was insane. My coaches being there was great. Looking over to see my teammates and family in the stands was exciting. It was just a lot to take in, but it was so much fun.”
After getting the pin, Campbell jumped into the arms of her dad, who is also one of her wrestling coaches.

“Seeing her become a state champion was surreal,” Jordyn’s dad, Corey Campbell, said. “She has put in so much work and has overcome so much. She is less than a year removed from labral surgery, and to see her develop into the wrestler that she is becoming is more than I could ever hope for. Being on that mat and having her jump into my arms is something no one can ever take from me and I will never forget.”
Even though the gold medal was a memorable moment, the accomplishment that sticks with Campbell the most is her mental toughness.
“I feel like it’s not talked about enough,” Campbell said. “Obviously, you want to be physically strong and physically tough, but if you can be mentally strong and overcome mental blocks such as injury, or even just knowing you can take shots, knowing that you can be a powerful wrestler, takes a lot. I think mentally being strong throughout the season helped.”

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About the Contributor
Mckenna Jones
Mckenna Jones, Junior writer
Mckenna Jones is a junior and in her third year of journalism. She enjoys writing entertainment reviews, sports stories and taking photos. Outside journalism, Mckenna is involved in volleyball, track, NHS and FCA.
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