HAVELOCK - Brooke Hermel doesnt appear like a typical high school teenage girl - and that's fine by her.
On certain winter nights, Hermel can be found in the Havelock High gymnasium suiting up for the Rams' wrestling team while grappling in the 106-pound weight class.
She began working toward the upcoming winter this summer by training with top-notch female wrestlers and Olympians at the U.S.A. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Col.
Hermel got to grapple with females that were "a lot like her" and got tutelage from the likes of USA Coach Terry Steiner and three-time World/Olympic Champion Helen Maroulis.
"It was very different out there, one of the most challenging things I've ever done - I got my butt kicked a lot but I also got to see where I was at among a lot of girls like me," Hermel said. "I got a lot out of it though and great advice about staying composed and working on my shots."
Hermel was one of just 500 girls invited to the camp.
She is coming off a sophomore season where she finished second in the Coastal 3A Conference. Hermel went 23-23 after going 5-24 as a freshman.
Hermel has her eyes on a lot in wrestling over the next two years as she wants to help her team do better in state duals. She wants to also qualify for the individual state championships.
"Everything I am doing this summer is pretty much to get me ready for next season," Hermel said.
Hermel is off road-tripping again next weekend as she is heading to Fargo, N.D. for the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet Nationals tournament.
Havelock Chase Holleman said he hopes Hermel adds a lot of confidence from her ventures this summer.
"Seeing the improvement she made from one summer from her freshman year to sophomore year, we hope it grows even more this coming year," Holleman said. "She has put in like three times the work this summer that she did last year. The biggest thing for her is wrestling the girls the same way she does the boys during the high school season. She wants to wrestle at the next level and she's driven to do that."
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at email@example.com