The Student News Source Of Kennedy High School

Kennedy Torch

The Student News Source Of Kennedy High School

Kennedy Torch

The Student News Source Of Kennedy High School

Kennedy Torch

Meredith Kaump Stands her Ground Throughout the Season

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Ella Smith
In a neutral position, sophomore Meredith Kaump stands her ground.

Sophomore Meredith Kaump never thought to try wrestling until last year when women’s wrestling was deemed a sport for the first time in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. This year, she finds herself on the Kennedy Varsity Girls Wrestling team for her second year. 

Last season, Kaump won numerous matches (20-9) despite her lack of experience with the sport. Kaump almost earned herself a ticket to state in 2023, falling just short in one of her final matches.

“My main goal is to make it to state this year because I got really close last year,” Kaump said. 

Kaump said that she wouldn’t have joined wrestling if it wasn’t for her biology teacher, Craig Mallicoat, who is the girls wrestling coach. Mallicoat and her parents persuaded Kaump to try out, which led to her love for the sport. 

“It was a great opportunity to try something new,” Kaump’s father, Stuart Kaump said. “I knew coach Mallicoat would be a great mentor for her.” 

This season, she’s competing at 140lbs, bringing tougher competition for Kaump. However, she still maintains a win-loss count of 12-8. 

“Her losses are to much tougher competition,” Mallicoat said. “But that means her wins are also to much tougher competition.”

One thing that sticks out about Kaump is that she never gives up on the mat. Mallicoat explained many of her matches have been won within the last few seconds because she didn’t let herself stay down. 

“She doesn’t give up on herself,” Mallicoat said. “It’s just that constant drive that makes her unique as a girl wrestler.”

As a girl wrestler, staying confident on the mat is key when pinning your opponent. Having to compete multiple matches per meet makes it difficult to zone in during each match. 

“A challenge I’ve come across is having confidence in myself and taking it one match at a time,” M. Kaump said. 

Even with the obstacles, Kaump developed a love and skill for the sport throughout the past two years. She encourages any girl who’s thought about it to try out and help expand girls wrestling as a sport. 

“Give it a try,” Kaump said. “I wasn’t sure I even wanted to do it last year, but I ended up falling in love with it.”

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Emma Rood, Writer

Hi! My name is Emma Rood and I’m a sophomore at Kennedy. This is my second year in Torch as a writer. Outside of school, I spend most of my time dancing. I also love to spend time with my friends and family along with my two cats.

Ella Smith, Photographer

Hi, my name is Ella Smith, I am a junior at Kennedy. This is my second year in Torch as a photographer. Outside of class, I spend my time dancing, playing tennis and hanging out with my friends.

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