Newman freshman Blair Grennan is only the second girl wrestler in school history. She’s also a regional champion.
At the 36-team Erie Regional on Jan. 27, Grennan won all three matches by pin fall in 1:30 or less to claim the 100-pound title and advance to the Geneseo Sectional this weekend.
Grennan has been voted the Sauk Valley Media Athlete of the Week by readers for Jan. 22-28, and she answered a few questions to help us get to know her a little better.
What’s been the key to your success so far this season?
Grennan: The season has had a lot of ups and downs, but I think wrestling mostly boys throughout the season has been an advantage to prepare me for the girls state series.
How special is it to be the first girl from Newman to win a regional wrestling championship?
Grennan: It is a really big honor, but at the end of the day my goals are not finished, and I really would like to keep continuing in the whole state series.
Other than the regional championship, what have been some highlights of your first high school wrestling season?
Grennan: I am so appreciative of all my supporters and how when I get a win at a home dual or even at a random tournament the crowd goes wild, and it just shows me how worth it all the hard work is.
What’s it like to wrestle on the same team as your older brother?
Grennan: It is honestly a blessing in disguise (even though he is really annoying). Brady is one of my biggest supporters, and he truly pushes me to my limits. He gives, not only me, but my teammates as well, the best example for how to be great.
What goals have you set for the season?
Grennan: I have multiple goals that I am continuing to reach, but one of the main ones is maintaining a good attitude on and off the mat. Wrestling is by far the most emotional sport and the toughest sport mentally.
What’s your favorite thing about wrestling?
Grennan: My favorite thing to talk about when it comes to wrestling is how your team becomes your family. I remember when I started wrestling and my brother and his friends welcomed me into the team immediately and always gave me advice that I look back on to this day. On and off the mats we always find a way to have fun with each other.
What’s your favorite movie? TV show?
Grennan: I can barely ever sit down and watch a whole movie, but the ones that I could watch over and over again are definitely all of the “Grown Ups” movies. My favorite show is for sure “Outer Banks,” and it could never get old.
What is your perfect meal?
Grennan: The most perfect meal in my eyes is very specific. First, we start off with sushi from Somkit. Then, as a side, we have cheesecurds from Culver’s. But, of course, we cannot forget dessert, which is for sure gonna be oreo cheesecake from Arthur’s. Lastly, to wash it all down from Starbucks, is a strawberry acai refresher with light ice, no berries, and peach juice.
What superpower would you like to have, and why?
Grennan: If I had to choose one, I would choose teleportation. That’s because I could be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want. Plus, gas prices are high.
What songs do you listen to to fire you up before a match?
Grennan: I can count on anything Eminem to hype me up before a match. My favorite song by him is “Lose Yourself.” But I also just have a mix of different songs on a playlist that I like.
What songs are your go-to to relax?
Grennan: Most songs by Bruno Mars are just like my go-to anytime, but definitely calms me down. My top two are “It Will Rain” and “Talking to the Moon.” I also just love Bruno Mars because his songs are me and my friends’ favorite. It reminds me of them and all of our good memories.
What is your favorite class, and why?
Grennan: Personally, my favorite class is Theology. I have always scored well on the subject because I understand it well. Being a Catholic is also just a big part of myself. My coaches and teammates are really good about incorporating God into our sport.
Who is your favorite professional team and athlete?
Grennan: My all around favorite team is the Iowa Hawkeyes. I love all of their sports but my favorite is, obviously, the women’s wrestling team. Ella Schmit, who is a part of that team, is my favorite athlete. She used to go to some of my club wrestling practices, I go to her wrestling camps, and she is just overall such an inspiration. She is also a really sweet person who goes out of her way to help and talk to young athletes like me.
You get to have dinner and talk wrestling with three athletes, past or present. They can be Olympians, college stars or former area standouts. Who are you picking, and why?
Grennan: Terry and Tom Brands would be two of the people I would like to sit down and talk with. They would have some crazy stories about wrestling, and they remind me of my dad and uncles. Someone else I would like to have a conversation with would be Simone Biles. Even though she doesn’t wrestle, her drive and determination for gymnastics is something that younger athletes like myself should follow.