Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School seventh-grader Nixie Schooler poses for a photo after winning this year’s Adidas Nationals Freestyle Wrestling Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday, April 10. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Cummins)

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School seventh-grader Nixie Schooler poses for a photo after winning this year’s Adidas Nationals Freestyle Wrestling Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday, April 10. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Cummins)

Nixie Schooler schools competition at Adidas Nationals

“I felt happy and I couldn’t believe I did it.”

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle Schooler Nixie Schooler knows all about sizing up the competition.

Schooler added another wrestling title to her resume recently by winning the Adidas Nationals Freestyle Wrestling Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday, April 10. What makes the accomplishment more impressive is Schooler won the High School Girls division despite being in the seventh grade.

“I felt happy and I couldn’t believe I did it,” Schooler said. “It was definitely tough, but it was a good challenge for me. I like wrestling people that I haven’t wrestled before. I hope to go to the (USMC) women’s nationals next year.”

Schooler gave a dominant performance during the tournament with only two points scored against her throughout. According to head coach Loren Cummins, all of Schooler’s opponents were either pinned or lost by technical fall (10 points.)

“The first thing about Nixie is that she comes from a very athletic family,” Cummins said. “Her uncle Jerry won the state championship for (Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé.) What separates Nixie from others is her intelligence and her self-determination. Here in Juneau she’s had to wrestle top-level boys because there haven’t been many other girls within her weight bracket. With her wrestling kids like Landon Hill, Jed Davis and Landyn Dunn she wrestles top-level competition all of the time, so she’s not intimidated or flustered when she goes to these other tournaments because the kids in her backyard are a lot of times tougher than what she’s going to be going up against.”

Schooler also competed the following day in the Adidas National Folkstyle tournament where she finished in third place. She had a total of six matches and was able to win five of them, most of them by pin. Cummins said while Schooler was exhausted from the previous day’s tournament, she showed grit and determination, finishing strong with her second All-American award in as many days.

Schooler wrestled for Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School this past year and won the Alaska State Middle School title in Fairbanks in February. Next up for Schooler is the State Wrestling Club Tournament held in Wasilla in May. Schooler’s mother Eva Carrillo said she knew her daughter had talent as a wrestler, but was still somewhat taken aback by how well she held her own against such older opponents.

“Every hour after that win she was like, ‘I can’t believe I won.’ We both couldn’t believe it. We really went there for some practice, just to feel it out, it’s a huge tournament,” Carrillo said. “I think there were like 2,400 wrestlers or something close to that, like the biggest turnout they’ve had for the Adidas Nationals. I kind of just threw her into the fire of freestyle telling her, ‘Oh, it’s sixth to 12th grade, but you know, you’re a hundred pounds, I think you should be okay.’ Didn’t think she’d win the whole thing and go undefeated.”

Other Juneau wrestlers who attended the Adidas Nationals Freestyle Wrestling Tournament were Thunder Mountain High School senior Carson Cummins, sophomore Colton Cummins and DZ Middle School eighth-grader Landyn Dunn. Carson finished third for the second time in his career after wrestling the eventual champion in his first match for the third year in a row. Colton Cummins dropped matches to the eventual first and third placers, as did Dunn, who was competing in his first out-of-state tournament.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School seventh-grader Nixie Schooler pins an opponent during the Adidas Nationals Freestyle Wrestling Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday, April 10. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Cummins)

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School seventh-grader Nixie Schooler pins an opponent during the Adidas Nationals Freestyle Wrestling Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday, April 10. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Cummins)

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