In just about any situation in the world, when you're the first person to do something, it makes headline news. This Iowa City Hischooler has done just that.

Sydney McCleary joined the City High girls wrestling team for their inaugural season and in just one year has made history.

The program had to start from the ground up and that meant finding girls who were maybe focused on other sports.

Sydney told KCRG back in December

“I went into this hoping for mental toughness for softball. Becoming a better player, mentally strong and just stronger in general."

Iowa is well known as a state made of wrestlers. Decades upon decades of champions call Iowa home, so Iowans, you can be proud to know that Sydney did not take this lightly. She knew it was going to be hard work.

She told KCRG

“It’s the hardest sport I’ve ever done in my life and probably will ever be, but it’s like an adrenaline rush. I just can’t get enough of it”

Sydney has been a varsity softball player for the Little Hawks all 4 years of high school, however this month she signed her National Letter of Intent to join the William Penn University women's wrestling program.

She made this decision after wrestling for only 1 year. She told KCRG she had just fallen in love with Wrestling.

“It was probably three weeks before state, and I remember I was at one of the practices, I was driving home and I was so sad that I had three weeks left. I’m really in love with this. I remember driving home after the night that state ended and just thinking to myself, practice is done, this season is over, but I’m just getting started”


This signing to wrestle in college was history in the making. Sydney is now the first City High girl to commit to wrestling in college. She's headed off to William Penn University women's wrestling program.

This entire story is amazing to me. Here you have a girl trying a brand new sport, on a team that didn't exist last year, and originally joining to make her a better softball player.

Sydney turned this opportunity into a chance to continue her education and become a college athlete.

There are a LOT of people who want to be college athletes and only a select few can make it happen. Sydney did just that, in a brand new sport, in 1 year.

She told KCRG

“I’m extremely blessed this was here this year, If it wasn’t here, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice and would have done softball, but this did fall into my hands. This was the best thing I’ve ever done.”


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