Bethel’s first female collegiate wrestler competed in her first tournament this weekend, and took second place in her weight class in freestyle wrestling. Lindsey Beans-Polk wrestled for Bethel Regional High School before she became a freshman wrestler at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. She said that this weekend’s event was her first freestyle competition.
“I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did,” said Beans-Polk. “I was just trying to get a tournament in so I could learn what freestyle is like because we did folk style in high school.”
The audience for Beans-Polk’s first college tournament was much bigger than she expected, thanks to the internet.
“I wasn’t expecting so many people to be watching. So that Facebook post… thank you for all the congratulations. It just made me feel so good,” said Beans-Polk.
Competition in the sport takes place with numerous restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beans-Polk said that while the team members can practice without wearing masks, they have to wear them when competing in tournaments. She said that her wrestling team is getting tested three times a week for COVID-19, and has been divided into three-person cohorts for practices. That and wearing masks when they aren’t on the mat, along with other precautions, are designed to keep team members healthy during the pandemic.