|11/18/2019 11:08:00 AM|
Pointer Kylie Rule takes it to the mat in Sweden
|Wrestling has been a major component of southwest Wisconsin for many years. It has offered opportunities for competitors of all ages.|
Recently it has even provided Mineral Point freshman Kylie Rule an opportunity to travel abroad to compete and succeed at an international level.
Rule is the daughter of Kurt and Leslie Rule. She has two older sisters Peyton and Cloe and a younger brother Kade.
Her adventure in wrestling started eight years ago as a second grader, at a wrestling practice for her younger brother.
"My brother Kade was in kindergarten at the time, and for some reason he didn't want to walk out on the mat by himself," Rule said. "He would just sit on a wall and take in what they were learning."
For a month or so, Kylie would practice with her younger brother until he was comfortable to go out on the mat on his own. When that happened, her dad told her that her help wasn't needed anymore.
But she realized that she loved the sport, so she kept going to practice. She has always felt welcome by the Mineral Point Wrestling Club and has enjoyed being part of a big wrestling family.
Rule had recently composed an article that was posted on Home Mat Advantage, a podcast website for wrestling enthusiasts. In that article she explained her wrestling timeline:
"Throughout my grade school wrestling career, I rarely won any matches, but that never stopped from working hard and competing. My first wrestling tournament ever was my hometown, Mineral Point, youth tournament. I remember getting excited after winning one of my first matches, but I ended up getting third.
"I was lucky enough to go to Wisconsin's youth state every year except for one. My fourth-grade year, I decided to take a year off and concentrate on gymnastics. When I came back to wrestling my fifth-grade year, my dad didn't want me to keep going with this sport. He didn't think I was good enough or was never going to be good enough. He wanted me to continue doing gymnastics because that's what I excelled in."
As she went into her middle school years of wrestling, she realized that wrestling for girls became much harder. But she realized the more mat time she would get, the better she would improve.
Through years of wrestling, Kylie has become quite familiar with both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling. These styles of wrestling are quite similar as they can both score takedowns through leg attacks. The main differences between Freestyle and Folkstyle is that in Freestyle competition, you do not do anything while you're on the bottom besides trying not to get turned. In Folkstyle competition, there are defense moves that from the bottom position.
Locking hands is another difference in both styles of wrestling: in freestyle wrestling, you may lock your hands at any point in time during the match. In folkstyle, you can only lock hands while trying to pin or trying to takedown your opponent. Doing otherwise in folkstyle is illegal.
As of now, folkstyle wrestling is not available to girls at the high school level, but the WIAA is being asked to revisit this. For now if girls want to continue wrestling beyond middle school level, they must make the switch to freestyle wrestling, or be willing to wrestle alongside boys. Kylie will be wrestling along with the Mineral Point High School wrestling team.
She has wrestled with Sarbacker Wrestling Academy and RT Elite. She has also wrestled with Women In Singlets (W.I.S), a southwest women's wrestling group founded by Kaylin Collins.
"I'm sure it is not easy to come from a small town and chase a big dream, but with Kylie's drive, work ethic, talent and her overwhelmingly positive attitude, I truly believe she can do absolutely anything she sets her mind to," Collins said.
She has also been practicing freestyle and greco with Combat out of Blue River, WI. Combat is headed by Lucas Steldt.
"Kylie is coachable with strength and perseverance," Steldt said. "She also has the ability to control herself with her intelligence and not her emotions. She also has another thing that sadly too many do not--a great support system at home."
Steldt realized after her success at Fargo, ND that she would be ready for a chance to wrestle internationally.
"In August I had a phone conversation with her mom about the plan for the year and where they stood on her future," Steldt said. "After that phone conversation they signed up for a personal coaching program and I added Kylie to the team we were taking to Sweden and was very excited to see her progression continue."
The USA team had 14 athletes. Four from WI, and the other 10 were from Northern Michigan Olympic Training Site and the Colorado Olympic Training Center. Kylie was one of two female freestyle athletes that travelled to Sweden.
"This is our biggest tour," Steldt said. "We only take athletes that are on the path to try to make a World Team to represent the United States of America at the World Championships and eventually make the Olympics."
That is the case for Rule, and she saw some good competition while in Sweden. Kylie was training with some of Sweden's best Women Freestyle athletes in Klippan, Sweden. She competed in Vasteres at the Malarcupen Open.
Controlling her exposure was of utmost importance, so she did not compete in Klippan (Junior and Senior Level athletes compete here), as she was still at the Cadet Level.
She lost a tough match that would've earned her the chance for a Gold Medal, however she came back fierce and won a Bronze medal.
"There are times that I still can't believe that I came home with a bronze," Rule said. "I'm happy to have done that."
She looks to go back again in the future, and has dreams to compete at the world level through PanAmerica or the Olympics. She will be training year round with Combat.
"Beyond the basic outline of a preferred athlete she possesses the one thing no one can train into her and that is heart," Steldt said. "Her career is just beginning."
She will also compete this winter with the Mineral Point High School Wrestling Team, with first year Mineral Point head coach Curtis Fiedler. He follows Scott Schmitz who has coached #PointerNation for 32 years.
"Kylie is awfully talented, she's put her heart and soul into the sport and it's fun to see that the success that she's having," Fiedler said. "She's going to be a force to deal with. She could very well become the next Alyssa Lampe (Tomahawk High School. She was the first female wrestler to quality for the state wrestling meet, and the first girl to wrestle for a Wisconsin state championship). I'm looking forward to seeing her continue in just dominating in the sport."
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