KENAI - Talk about perfect timing.
Three years to the day after becoming the first female wrestler in the country to win an individual state high school championship competing against boys, former Skyview High School grappler Michaela Hutchison was making history once again.
Only four days after capturing the women's 55-kilogram national championship for Oklahoma City University, Hutchison took the mat on Wednesday and added another impressive accomplishment to her increasingly blossoming resume by becoming the first woman to compete in an Oklahoma men's college dual, according to the university.
Filling the 125-pound slot in the Stars lineup against freshman Alex Gorton of Neosho County (Kan.), Hutchison lost a 17-2 technical fall wrestling folkstyle, after competing in freestyle throughout the season.
However, she did toss Gorton onto his back in the first period, earning a pair of back points.
"Boy, it was pretty exciting," said OCU women's and men's wrestling coach Archie Randall.
"I wish I had about 30 of her. Then I wouldn't have to do nothing in practice except sit against the wall. She motivates herself."
As a sophomore at Skyview in 2006, Hutchison won the 103-pound state crown in the Class 4A Alaska State Wrestling Championships with a thrilling 1-0 win over Colony's Aaron Boss.
Wrestling against boys definitely has its benefits, Randall said.
"Most of the girls we have in our program now, the most successful are the ones who wrestle in men's programs," he explained. "They have a different attitude, a different style, they're more aggressive, stuff like that."
Randall said in between her studies, which has earned her a 3.16 grade point average, higher than the overall team's of 3.0, Hutchison hits the mat with not only her women's team, but also the men's.
Randall then asked Hutchison if she wanted to join the men's team on Wednesday and fill the 125-pound spot, a weight class the team has forfeited in all 20 duals this season.
"She did better than the other person we had there. We don't have anybody there," Randall laughed. "I think she just locked up a little bit because it's her first men's college match. I think she should have wrestled better.
"I think she's better than what she showed this time around."
Hutchison, the top-ranked 121-pound female wrestler in the country out of every division, with 13 colleges boasting scholarship athletes, has tasted success all season during her rookie campaign with the Stars.
Going 32-3 with 14 pins, she helped OCU repeat as National Wrestling Coaches Association and Cliff Keen National Duals women's champions in January, earning outstanding wrestler honors to boot.
All three of her losses this season came up a weight class at 130 pounds, one of them against a woman who was a world bronze medalist and another versus a grappler who won the world team trials - two of the top wrestlers in the nation, according to Randall.
"She's the real deal. She's always been," he said. "She was one of the top girls out of the nation last year. We thought we were real fortunate to get her down here.
"She's had a really good season," Randall added. "We've put her against everybody that we could possibly find for her to compete against."
The top seed in the Women's College Wrestling Association Women's College Wrestling Championships on Saturday at the Burns Athletic Center in Marshall, Mo., Hutchison, a pre-med major, was one of three OCU wrestlers to win individual crowns in leading the Stars to a 117-86 win over Cumberlands (Ky.), ending Cumberlands' streak of three straight national championships, including last year when it beat OCU, then in its first year of fielding a program.
Hutchison beat teammate and second-ranked Ashley Hudson by decision, 2-0, 3-0, in the 55-kilogram title bout after winning two matches by fall and another by technical fall.
And in the process, Hutchison and four others qualified for the U.S. Team in the World Team Trials in Nebraska in June.
"She's phenomenal. She is really, really technically sound, her work ethic is really good, she's tough, she moves real well," Randall said. "She's a great student and a great kid. She's a pleasure to have on our team."
The OCU men's squad closes their regular season dual schedule with a Feb. 11 match against Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla.
Hutchison will wrestle in that as well.
"I think she'll be a little bit more relaxed," Randall said. "I think she'll have the first-match jitters out of her system, too."
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