IRMO (WACH)- When taking a first glimpse at Genesis Patterson, a wrestler who squats twice her body weight is far from the first thing that comes to mind.
The junior at Dutch Fork is the real deal. Patterson was crowned National Champion in Women's Freestyle wrestling at the 101-pound weight class.
"I'm kinda rough so I like beating up on the guys and girls," Patterson said.
Her strength coach is blown away at the power she has in her small frame.
"Pound for pound, she's probably the strongest person here," Dutch Fork strength coach Noah Dixon said.
Patterson competed on the wrestling team at Lexington High School her freshman and sophomore year, and will wrestle with the Silver Foxes this fall. The catch? She's the only female.
"Most boys think they're gonna tear her up," Patterson's freestyle coach Eddie Celso said. "Then they watch her wrestle and are like, 'Do I gotta wrestle her?'"
But it wasn't always easy for Patterson. She has had to earn her keep and has done so by becoming one of the best.
"You have to prove yourself to the coaches and the boys," Patterson said. "You're not just a girl in there to be cute and pretty, you actually have to work hard and fight for your place."
Patterson will continue training during the summer in preparation for the wrestling season this fall.