Minnesota’s best girls’ wrestler just wants to be a wrestler

At first glance, little appears exceptional about Centennial junior Emily Shilson as she prepares for a wrestling match, except that, though she competes at 106 pounds, the lightest weight, she seems on the smallish side.

Ponytail tucked under a black skull cap and covered by standard headgear, she’s constantly in motion, bouncing on the balls of her feet, stretching, running a few quick sprints to break a sweat. Just another wrestler warming up.

But then you see the glare. It’s at once a look of steely determination and intense focus, her mind solely on the task in front of her. It’s impossible to ignore, even though it’s directed mostly inwardly, where she’s lost in thought and preparation and intent. For the next 6 minutes, Shilson’s entire world is the 38-foot-by-38-foot wrestling mat.

“Some people call it intensity,” said her father, mentor and coach, Chad. “We call it focus.” Continue reading at www.startribune.com

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