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She's a 12-year-old wrestling star. But she can't compete because 'girls don't play boys sports in Lancaster schools'

12-year old has won national wrestling awards
Posted at 1:51 PM, Nov 22, 2019

LANCASTER, N.Y — Trista Blasz, 12, from Lancaster, New York, has a dream: to wrestle.

She's good. Really good. In fact, Trista has even won national competitions, like the Girls' 12U 86-pound weight class NUWAY National Championship back in April.

Not only does she wrestle against girls — she also takes on the boys.

Despite competitively wrestling with boys her entire life, Trista isn't allowed to wrestle for Lancaster High School's junior varsity team. The school district's doctor, Michael Terranova, refuses to give approval. She is also not cleared to wrestle in a modified weight class.

"I just can't wrestle basically because I'm a girl," Trista said.

"(It) isn't fair, just because she's a girl. And this is the only explanation I can come up with. If she was a boy, she'd be on the team already," said Danielle Blasz, Trista's mother.

Trista passed the two tests mandated by New York State that would allow her to be on the JV team. One determines her body's maturity and the other is a series of physical tests, like push-ups and pull-ups.

"The school doctor said no. I asked him for an explanation (and) he didn't give me one," Blasz said.

Blasz also claims a boy in Trista's seventh-grade class also passed both tests and he's on the JV team, but Trista has to take an extra step.

"Now she has to go through this panel of the school doctor, her primary and a gym teacher," Blasz said.

The physical education teacher and the school doctor still said no.

On a form from the district denying her request to wrestle is a hand-written note next to the signature of Terranova, which reads, "Girls don't play boys sports in Lancaster schools."

Lancaster Central School District Superintendent Michael Vallely released this statement to WKBW:

"Their excuse was muscle mass (which was) used with my sister 12 years ago," Blasz said.

Trista's in the same exact situation that her aunt dealt with over a decade ago, including with the same school doctor at Lancaster High School.

"My aunt got me into it," Trista said. "And I just found it really cool and fun."

Her aunt is the whole reason Trista even started wrestling.

Trista's aunt ended up on the boys' wrestling team by appealing the school doctor's decision. It took a year. That's why Trista and her mom both hope it doesn't come to that.

"I just want to wrestle on the team," Trista said.

WKBW reached out to Terranova at his office, but were told he was out of the office.

On Friday, a Lancaster School Board member told WKBW they are trying to set up an emergency meeting to address the issue.

This story was originally published by Olivia Proia on WKBW.