WEST LINN, Ore. (KPTV) - The OSAA first added a girls' division at the state wrestling tournament in 2018, and the future of the sport is brighter than ever. In this high school spotlight, FOX 12 highlights a champion from West Linn as she has eyes on the ultimate prize.

The mat room at West Linn High School is decorated with state champions from decades upon time - the wall has more room, too. A spot is available for Destiny Rodriguez as the junior is on her way to be the first time four-time state champ for the Lions.

West Linn HS wrestler on her way to becoming four-time state champ

Destiny Rodriguez (KPTV image)

"You can’t have your picture up on the wall until you graduate, so even though she has earned it, she has to wait and come back," said Oregon Wrestling Hall of Fame coach Doug Samarron.

Samarron has seen more than three decades of West Linn grapplers pin and win but none have ever quite been like Rodriguez.

"In all the years, 30-plus years I have been coaching, probably one of the best ever," he said.

Rodriguez is one-of-one on the mat and on the West Linn squad - the lone girl in the ring for the Lions.

"I feel like I am really a shy person, so wrestling has kind of let me open up and it kind of gives me an outlet to be myself, and I feel like in the wrestling room I am myself," she said.

The 17-year-old two-time defending state champion at 155 pounds has been in love with the sport since she was 6 years old, but the wins didn't come right away.

"I lost like all of my matches my first two years and then after that I slowly started winning," said Rodriguez. "For some reason, every time I would lose it would just make me want to come back and get better and in the practice room, I would get beat up too, but I just liked it."

Sometimes what you like picks you.

"She is one of the better technicians in the room, hands down. I tell kids, if you don’t grab Destiny for a drill partner, you’re not being very smart. I won’t use the words I say but you won’t be very smart because she is going to actually make you better," Samarron said.

Coach Samarron calls her a "dogmatic perfectionist."

"I want to be the first four-time state champ here, as the only girl I feel like it would be really cool to be the first four-time and just to encourage more guys to push themselves to be like that too," Rodriguez said.

First West Linn, then the world.

"I want to be an Olympic gold medalist, so I feel like every year I try to make the World Team just to keep my goals up there," she said.

Two summers ago, Rodriguez grappled freestyle around the globe to grab gold at the top of the podiums in Budapest, Hungary for the U-15 Worlds and also in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico for the Pan-Am games the year prior with Team USA.

"When I do travel to tournaments, it makes me happy to see how many girls are trying out and how many girls are pushing themselves to be like the boys and just not letting it be a guy dominated sport," Rodriguez said.

If you know of any high school athletes who deserve some praise, reach out to Nick Krupke at Nick.Krupke@kptv.com or on social media via his Facebook pageTwitter or Instagram.

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