Perry Meridian High School senior Kelsi Miller is the first Falcon female to claim a state high school wrestling championship.
Last month, the 5-3, 182-pound wrestler earned her lofty spot atop the podium as an Indiana Girls Wrestling Association champion in Kokomo. Miller earned her state champion’s medal by pinning Lebanon’s Gracie Brandt with only 26 seconds left in the title matchup.
“I had pinned her before, but she had a lot more fight in her this time,” Miller recalled of their second and most important meeting. “I was a little nervous because I didn’t know how she (Brandt) would respond.”
Miller had dominated the title match and would have won on points. She won four of her five tourney matches by pinning her opponent.
After being encouraged by PMHS wrestling coach Greg Schoettle and friends, Miller finally took up the sport.
“I could never find my sport,” said Miller “I’ve always had strength and the more I wrestled, the more it helped my confidence. Coach Schoettle really believed in me with coaches Peyston and Sabick. I am very thankful.”
She has served as a football manager for three seasons after participating in a variety of sports, including dancing, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and discus and shot put.
Miller’s strength was evident in the weight room where she could back squat 300 pounds, power clear 210 pounds and lift 190 pounds. Falcons’ male wrestlers and coach Schoettle took notice and the rest is in the athletic history books at Perry Meridian.
She is the daughter Kelli and Richard Miller, former high school athletes. Her older brother Rilee is a former PMHS wrestler. She has a younger brother, Braeden, and sister Alee who attend Rosa Parks Elementary School.
Her size and strength enabled her to win a state championship and hopes that by overcoming her insecurities that she encourages younger girls to seek success.
“I hope I have inspired other girls to wrestle,” Miller said. “I really want to get the word out that girls can do anything once they put all your mind and heart into it.”
She admitted to being insecure while growing up, somewhat due to negative comments from other students.
“I was able to grow and learn from it,” Miller said. “I believe God put us here on earth to learn all that we can, and He put us here for a reason.”
Her state championship medal is significant not only of her success as a wrestler but as a confident young adult whose future is ahead of her.
Her plans for post-secondary education are up in the air, although she would like to attain an associate degree in the dental field or enter the military.