|Girl Is Mass. Wrestling Champ|
|By ELIZABETH JENEAULT||Feb 22, 2013, 2:38 PM|
For the first time in Massachusetts high school wrestling history, a girl has won the individual state title.
Danielle Coughlin, a senior at North Andover High School and the captain of the varsity wrestling team, took the title in the 106-pound weight class at the state's Division II tournament on Wednesday.
Today, Coughlin and her team are competing in the all-state title competition. If she claims one of the top six spots, she'll go on to compete in a larger, New England tournament.
"It's amazing for her, the fact that she's a girl," Coughlin's wrestling coach Carl Cincotta told ABC News. "But she's just another wrestler to me."
Cincotta says he knew Coughlin was different the moment he met her.
"When you get a female wrestler on the team they're usually on junior varsity, and they serve as a sort of back-up. But Danielle made the varsity line-up her freshman year."
Hard work and dedication is what made Coughlin,18, so different from the rest.
"She works at all her techniques, she focuses on eating right, weight lifting, wrestling, she just does it all," said Cincotta. "She wants to be a champion and when you have that mindset, to work hard, you end up becoming that champion."
Coughlin was inspired by her older brother, Larry Coughlin, who also won an individual state championship for North Andover High School when he was on the team.
Larry now focuses on improving his little sister's skills as the assistant coach to the team.
Although Coughlin's a female, the boys she's up against consider her a stiff competitor.
"Everyone in the state knows that she's a girl, but they can't take it easy on her because they'll get their butt kicked," said Cincotta.
The United States Girls Wrestling Association said that Coughlin is the fourth girl to win a state championship in an all boys division. The other girls were Rachel Hale in 2011 of Bennington, Vt., Michaela Hutchison in 2006 of Anchorage, Alaska, and Hope Steffensen in 2010 of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.