High school senior Montana Delawder has won a national title in wrestling, qualified for the District III Class 3A Boys Wrestling Tournament and set a state record for wins on the mat as a female. She’s changed the landscape of high school wrestling. Now her final season in a high school singlet takes on new meaning.
“I want to leave things better than I found them,” Delawder said.
Gettysburg wrestling has opened its doors to girls wrestlers for years, but this fall made that welcome sign official. The Warriors became the eighth program in Pennsylvania to sanction girls wrestling creating a separate team of all girls.
Across the country, 21 states have sanctioned girls wrestling as a high school sport. Pennsylvania is well on its way with over one dozen schools committing to host programs. The PIAA will sanction girls wrestling as an official sport if 100 schools have programs.
Delawder has a big role on the Gettysburg girls wrestling team. She’s a recruiter, getting more girls to try the sport. She’s a teacher, imparting her years of wrestling training onto teammates getting their first taste of live wrestling. She’s a leader, inspiring the next generation of wrestlers to stick with the grueling sport.
“Our elementary kids know who Montana Delawder is,” said Gettysburg Wrestling Head Coach Chris Haines. “We make sure there’s a connection there. We make sure there are kids in the stands looking up to these individuals at the high school level. I think with Montana in particular, we have marketed her and promoted her throughout the state for younger girls to look up to.”
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Delawder has started every season since she was a freshman on the boys team, and her senior season will be no different. With the introduction of the girls roster, Delawder splits time on both teams. She’s still chasing a district title on the boys mat.
“I want to qualify for districts again and keeping racking up as many wins as possible,” Delawder says.
She’s the only girl in District III history to qualify for the tournament, and this season she’s cemented in the state record books as well. In the Warriors first week of competition, the senior set the state record for wins by a female wrestler in Pennsylvania. The record was 69 victories, Delawder now stands at 73.
Her list of other accomplishments is long: 2019 National Champion at Fargo, 2020 runner-up in the Super 32 challenge, two-time District III Class 3A qualifier.
Delawder will attend King University in the fall on a full scholarship. She’ll join one of the top womens wrestling programs in the country, and hopes to one day compete on the international stage.