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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile
Rito Perez
Rito Perez
Assistant Sports Editor

Playmaker Profile: Molly Carlson

Molly Carlson gets her arm raised after winning against an opponent from Liberty. Photo courtesy of Molly Carlson
Molly Carlson gets her arm raised after winning against an opponent from Liberty. Photo courtesy of Molly Carlson

Knowing all eyes are on her, Molly Carlson ‘26 confidently steps onto the winner’s podium, placing 3rd at super regionals, and essentially qualifying for the first ever Iowa High School Women’s State Wrestling Tournament. 

Carlson started her wrestling journey in 8th grade after getting introduced to an open clinic. Carlson isn’t too new to the wrestling community, since she had many neighbors, family, and friends that pushed her to try wrestling. Her biggest inspirations come from outside the sport of wrestling with her dad and brother’s backgrounds of having played multiple different sports inspiring her.

“In wrestling, so far, one of the people that inspires me most would be Claire Brown (‘23), one of my teammates last year. Though she had been only wrestling for a couple years she placed at the state tournament last year, something I hope to do as well. Coach Ahlers and Koenig both have also been very supportive in my development,” Carlson said.

Reflecting on her loss at last year’s state tournament, Carlson describes her work ethic being fueled by failure. And unlike most, Carlson enjoys not having an off day throughout her routine. 

“My experience at state last year wasn’t as I hoped, going 0-2. Though celebrating my teammates’ success was fun as well. So when something isn’t going my way, it only pushes me to work harder. A constant go, go, go, is what keeps me going and in a routine every day,” Carlson said.

Her discipline and work ethic has clearly had an impact on her performance, with Carlson racking up multiple pins throughout the ‘23 season, and planning on making it back to state to end the ‘24 season. 

“There are so many things I enjoy about wrestling but at the top of my list is definitely getting my hand raised at the end of a good match. The feeling of all those eyes on you knowing you alone went out there to compete and win is something I would like to experience at state,” Carlson exclaimed.

One of the things that stood out to Carlson at last year’s state tournament was how packed the Xtream Arena was, especially for just the first ever state tournament. The immense amount of support inspired Carlson to take a step back, bring new goals to mind, and appreciate herself for making it there no matter the result. 

“It’s nice to see that women’s wrestling is becoming more of a normalcy to the wrestling community. Though there is still adversity that women wrestlers have to overcome, I believe it is being welcomed more and more with time. There are certainly different skill levels across the board, but it’s tough to go out on the mat and do something new in front of a gym full of strangers,” Carlson said.

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Ramatou Diallo
Ramatou Diallo, Reporter
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