Allison Blaine seems like a natural as she poses for various photos in The Columbian studio.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” the Hudson’s Bay senior says during her photoshoot for The Columbian’s All-Region Girls Wrestler of the Year, the second time she’s won the award.
She suggests various poses, aware of where her hair falls and how to hide the two glue-on nails that have fallen off. She arrived and left in red heels, the latter an unusual sight when she exited the building in Eagles wrestling gear.
This is Blaine off the mats. She’s a cheerleader, loves to make friends and is always the first to suggest team-bonding activities.
When she puts on her headgear, though, she’s an unstoppable force, a three-time state champion with a 92-1 career record for Hudson’s Bay.
Her ability to merge her success on the mats with her personality off it is inspirational.
“I really hope it grows the sport,” Blaine said. “You can be a lot of different sides to yourself and still succeed.” While she’s always been a force on the mats, she craved a team environment. So she joined the cheerleading team her junior season and has learned as much on chilly fall nights as she has in sweaty gymnasiums.
“That’s always been a part of me; I’ve just never had a sport that I could let that into,” Blaine said. “It was cool to have an outlet for that.”
While Blaine, who became Clark County’s fourth three-time state wrestling champion, hopes to compete in college, she’s glad the high school journey is over. The pressure that came with being one of the state’s best girls grapplers was suffocating at times.
She has always dealt with anxiety leading up to matches.
After being named a Tacoma News-Tribune “Untouchable” before this year’s Mat Classic, that nervous energy reached fever pitch. She was vomiting before matches, unable to relax as her heart raced in anticipation.