#snapshots: Two local young female wrestlers gain All American status at Women’s Nationals
#snapshots, brought to you by Rendezvous Dental, is a series highlighting amazing athletic and competitive achievements from across County 10.
(Lander, Wyo.) – Wrestling is something that the Velarde family is locally known for. Now the family has an All American grappler. Seven-year-old Harlie Velarde wrestled competitively for the first time this past season and she finished in the top 10 in her age bracket at the nationals. That’s right. She is seven years old. She and 14-year-old Sophie Weed both won All American honors at the USA Women’s Nationals in Irving, Texas last month.
Velarde’s four older brothers have always wrestled and brother DeAundre finished 4th for the Lander Valley Tigers at this year’s Wyoming State Championships. The girls are coached by Jessica Brenton of Casper and Harlie’s dad Billy. The two girls are members of the Lander Tiger Tough USA Club team.
For Weed, this was also her first year on the mats in competition. She followed her little brother along for years in USA Wrestling and decided to take on the sport. She placed high at Wyoming’s finals, and then finished 4th at the Women’s Nationals.
The Wyoming team took 6 girls to nationals, five placed and became All Americans.
Harlie’s mom Tiffany said her daughter “is not afraid of the boys.” In fact, “she’ll wrestle anyone, at almost any time.”