Ella Brown: Crushing The Competition


Kiera Zwack

Ella Brown challenges herself to take on multiple sports.

On Feb. 2 and 3, sophomore wrestler, Ella Brown, took home fifth place in Iowa’s first sanctioned Girls’ Wrestling State Tournament. This marked another victory in the books for Brown. After placing seventh in the non-sanctioned girls’ state tournament last year, she strived to place higher this year. Next year, she will not settle for less than top of the podium.

Brown’s determination pushes her involvement across multiple sports throughout her life. Her father was a baseball player growing up; photos of him playing inspired her to follow in his footsteps through softball.

“I was always extremely active as a kid,” Brown said. “Everytime I went outside I’d hit off a tee or throw the ball around, so my parents thought, ‘Why not get her into a sport she loves?’”

Brown was active from the day she could walk. From basketball to jiu-jitsu, she’s done it all. She took up wrestling in the fourth grade while balancing softball, soccer, bowling and basketball. The pressure was on to succeed in them all. By eighth grade, she was establishing her future.

She was conflicted when it came down to what sport she wanted to play for college. Putting her whole life into multiple sports can make that final choice stressful and not wanting to let down her coaches was holding her back.

“It’s a double edged sword,” Brown said. “You have these coaches that you’ve made proud and have been successful with for so long. You feel like if you pick one sport you’ll let down your coaches in the other.”

Her decision to continue wrestling and softball her freshman year was one she was confident in. With her parents and coaches support, she went on to wrestle a 34-4 this season at 190 pounds, and was a starter in all 39 softball games last season.

Craig Mallicoat, the Varsity Girls’ Wrestling Coach, and Maddison LeClere, Varsity Softball Coach, have done nothing but push her to triumph. Her coaches have provided a sense of belonging for Brown.

“Coaches can really make or break a sport, but since day one my coaches have given me that feeling that this is where I want to be,” Brown said.

Brown puts in the work with her teammates and coaches at school, but her commitment does not end when practice ends. She is a part of Big Game Wrestling Club and plays softball at Iowa Elite. Both organizations allow her to fine-tune each sport. She maximizes her time to improve her skills for the upcoming season.

At times, Brown struggles to balance multiple sports. Softball may be a summer sport that doesn’t interfere with school, but club wrestling is just around the corner when that comes to an end. Training is never put on hold.

“Ella, as a wrestler, is very competitive and is driven by success,” Mallicoat said. “She works extremely hard and spends a lot of time outside of the high school practices working to improve her skill set.”

Her parents, coaches and teammates have prepared her for the journey ahead. The challenge of getting into various sports her first few years of high school has been one she has proved time and time again she can handle. With junior year just around the corner, she’s ready to see what the future holds for both wrestling and softball.

“I think I’m most excited to see how much the sport grows all together…I would say I’m ready to get better and hopefully see some new girls come and try it, and also to be that leader for everyone,” Brown said.