Hockey and wrestling are physical sports that can take a toll on an athlete’s body.
That’s just fine with Waupaca High School senior Christina Rasmussen.
Not only does she compete on the Waupaca Area girls’ hockey team, which is off to a 12-1 start this season, she is also the only girl on the Comet wrestling tem.
“I had wrestling practice yesterday, a hockey game last night and I’m wrestling today,” Rasmussen said shortly after her first varsity match Jan. 3 at the Manawa Invitational. “It is a lot. It’s really different being the only girl on the team, but the guys are really supportive. The coaches are really nice letting me come in and showing me all this stuff because I’m behind.”
Although Onalaska Luther’s Alex Cortez pinned Rasmussen in a 138-pound match, Rasmussen doesn’t regret trying the sport for the first time.
“I wish I would have started it earlier because it’s something that I really enjoy,” she said. “I went to basic for the National Guard and we did combatives. It’s kind of like wrestling and I liked it.”
Rasmussen is back on the ice and the mat after recovering from torn rib cartilage and is able to balance school work with practices, hockey games and wrestling meets.
“We have to share the ice with the boys, so hockey practice is usually later,” she said. “I live kind of far out, so it would be pointless for me to drive home. I go to wrestling practice after school and then hockey practice.”
The two sports are totally different, but they do have one thing in common, according to Rasmussen.
“Hockey is three periods of 17 minutes,” she said. “With wrestling, you get three periods of two minutes, but sometimes you don’t make it through all three periods. It’s different, but they’re both physically demanding.”
Hockey is especially rewarding this season, as Waupaca Area has already more wins this season than in the program’s first two seasons combined.
“The first year, we had six wins,” Rasmussen said. “The following year, we only had four. To have 12 wins is really big.”
Rasmussen believes hockey and wrestling will help keep her in shape for the future.
“I want to go to school in (Stevens) Point in the ROTC program with the National Guard and graduate as a second lieutenant,” she said.
In the meantime, Rasmussen still has plenty of wrestling matches and hockey games on her schedule.
“I guess you could say it’s my outlet to get away from everything,” she said.