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Campbellsville wrestler Miracle earns surprise spot on Team USA for Pan American Games

One future Campbellsville University student-athlete is getting one step closer to her Olympic dream this week.

Incoming freshman Kayla Miracle will compete for Team USA at the Pan American Senior Wrestling Championships. Competition begins with the men’s Greco-Roman action, followed by women’s freestyle and the men’s freestyle Tuesday through Thursday.

Kayla Miracle will compete for Team USA  at the Pan American Senior Wrestling Championships (Photo from Campbellsville Athletics)

Kayla Miracle will compete for Team USA at the Pan American Senior Wrestling Championships (Photo from Campbellsville Athletics)

Miracle’s addition to the roster came as a bit of a surprise to the future Lady Tiger, who has spent the last month at the Team USA training camps at McKendree University. While attending the Junior World Team Camp, Miracle heard Coach Terry Steiner might need someone for the Senior Pan Am competition at 58kg. She sent word to an assistant coach on the national team that she’d be willing to cut weight but it did not look like she would be added.

A few days later, Steiner announced her addition to the Senior Pan Am roster. She has competed and won gold for USA at both the Cadet and Junior Pan Ams in years past.

“Kayla is one of our up and coming stars – she had shown great commitment to the program and she is being promoted for that reason,” said Steiner. “She will have a bright future with USA Wrestling.”

Miracle, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation at 58kg in the senior ranks, will be the only junior level athlete to represent the US Women’s Wrestling Team at the Senior Pan Ams. She earned her Top 10 ranking by becoming the only high school wrestler to place at the U.S. Senior Open in Las Vegas earlier this year

“I’m excited. It’s going to be a different experience. I’ve been to the cadet and junior Pan Ams, and have now competed at the senior level in Sweden and the U.S. Open. This will be different,” Miracle said. “From what I wrestled last year (at the Junior Pan Ams), they (South American wrestlers) tend to cut a lot of weight. They’re a lot heavier than they actually are. I’m going to have to stay tactful and make very little mistakes.”

In May, she qualified for the U.S. Junior World Team by winning her weight at the FILA Body Bar competition in Texas. The Junior World Championships will be August in Zagreb, Croatia.

She will become the first Campbellsville University women’s wrestler to compete in a Senior Pan Am event, something her father and college head coach Lee Miracle, is proud of.

“Coach Steiner selected Kayla to represent the US at the Pan Am’s because he knew she had been working very hard at National Team camps all summer and competing on the Open level with success. He believes, as I do, that Kayla deserved the opportunity and has a great chance to medal in Mexico City,” said Lee Miracle. “I’m excited to coach Kayla at the Pan Ams and share this experience with her. I am also going to take advantage of the international recruiting opportunity this trip provides.”

Following the Senior Pan Am, Miracle will travel to Fargo, N.D., for the Freestyle National Championships and Junior World Team trials for non-Olympic weights. She will compete at 60kg. While there, she will also be recognized for being named to TheMat.com/ASICS High School Girls Wrestling All-America Team for the fourth consecutive year.

Miracle is one of 12 signees which will join Campbellsville University this fall to compete in the Lady Tigers’ second season in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA). CU finished sixth in the WCWA National Tournament during its inaugural season and had five WCWA All-Americans.

From Campbellsville Athletics

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