And, oh yeah, the wrestler is a 103 pound female.
At 103 pounds, Gassman is quite normal for a 15-year-old girl. The Herndon High freshman, however, is not what many would consider normal. At least, making history isn’t what occupies most girls at her age. “It was never a specific goal of mine when I was really young [to become a wrestler], more like a dream,” she said to The Examiner. Well, now that dream has led her to being the first female wrestler to compete at the Virginia AAA state tournament.
In fact, Gassman is getting rather accustomed to making history. She was the first female to win the Concorde District Tournament and has posted a 43-8 record. Said one opponent who has managed to beat Gassman: “Even though she isn’t as strong as a lot of the guys, technique-wise she’s as good as anybody.” With a record like that, no kidding.
She even has a sense of humor about it, too. Posing in a picture for The Examiner, she’s sporting a t-shirt that reads “Man’s oldest sport.”
The best of luck to this week’s Noble, Firen Gassman.
“Be less impressed about her being a girl, and be more impressed about her being a freshman,” said Bill Hildbold, Herndon director of student activities.
From the Washington Post:
Vikings’ Dynamic Duo
Every takedown by Herndon’s Firen Gassman these days is a lunge at history. She may not even realize it, however — and she may not even care all that much.
In winning the Virginia AAA Concorde District 103-pound title last weekend, the freshman became the first female district champion in the history of the Virginia High School League. If she places in the top four at the Northern Region tournament at Hayfield this weekend, she’ll become the first female to reach a VHSL state meet.
“I would say that she’s vaguely aware of what everything means, but she’s not done yet,” Herndon Coach Tyler Andersen said. “She’s just not satisfied with being the first girl to win districts. She wants to be the first girl to win the region, the first girl to make states and the first girl to place at states.”
For Gassman, a state champion last summer in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman boys’ divisions, a district title was practically expected. At 39-7 this year, she has pinned 19 of her opponents and scored eight major decisions.
And the best from The Washington Examiner:
“It was never an issue because our team already knew Firen and to them she’s not just a girl, she’s a wrestler,” said Herndon coach Tyler Andersen.
Gassman, for one, understands the pressure her opponents face.
“That’s why I really appreciate the boys who will wrestle me because it’s a lose-lose situation for them,” Gassman said. “If they win they were supposed to and if they lose they get made fun of. So they either come out really timid and back off or they come out aggressive and prove they can handle it. I like that aggressiveness because it makes me a better wrestler.”
When will NOW declare Firen Gassman day? Oh… right, Nancy Hopkins and Susan Estrich typify NOW.