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Yeik ready to step up to next level
Camie Yeik has had to wrestle friends before.
The 15-year-old Central Kitsap High School sophomore has become friends with a number of the countrys top youth female wrestlers, simply through competition. But at the National Junior Womens Championships, hosted at the end of July in Fargo, N.D., she was slated to battle one of her closest friends, Oklahomas Joey Miller, for the 102-pound title.
In a close title match, Miller came out on top, edging her friend by a 9-7 score.
Joeys the one who beat me in the finals, Yeik said. Weve been best friends for a long time. I was nervous but not. Weve been used to it for a long time.
And thats why despite the loss, Yeik and her family have been hosting Miller for some summer fun among friends in Silverdale.
Thats just it, Brent Yeik, Camies father, said. They kind of became buddies last summer. Theyve been out boating, skiing, camping. Theyve been all over the Northwest so far.
Camies mom, Pat Yeik agreed, saying the friendships made outlast the competitive rivalry.
Its kind of awkward for that first split second, but then its done, Pat Yeik said. Its over. Lets go play.
For Camie Yeik, her first year at high school will give her the opportunity to challenge herself in ways she hasnt been able to wrestling girls from within the state. Thats why she said Nationals is such a big event for her.
The only competition I get with the girls is at Nationals, she said. Girls around here are not up to my level of competition. So I wrestle with guys a lot.
Yeik decided to give wrestling a shot after her younger brothers got involved. Now a full-fledged wrestling family, Yeik has been able to challenge her brothers, 13-year-old Brandon and 11-year-old Cody.
I guess her two younger brothers wrestled her pretty hard, Brent Yeik said. Shes been a wrestling dummy for a couple years now. Right now, her best wrestling partner is probably her brother (Brandon). That got her where shes at.
Thats also proved beneficial since Yeik will now be taking on the boys more consistently. And even though it will be more challenging, shes still setting her goals high.
My success level probably wont be as good with guys, she said. But I want to make it to boys state this year.
Yeik will also have some other strong experiences to draw upon for coming season. In addition to her national tournaments, Yeik has also competed abroad, wrestling in tournaments in countries like Austria, where she recently competed and finished second.
It was a good tournament, Yeik said. The girl that beat me, I beat her three months before at a meet. But its OK. She wont touch me again.
Its that kind of confidence that has allowed Yeik to step fearlessly onto the mat, no matter who shes facing. For example, at Fargo, six nationally-ranked girls were in Yeiks bracket alone.
That and her bracket was considered the toughest bracket, Brent Yeik said. And shes wrestling up. She should be a cadet.
The fact shes getting to travel nationally and internationally has made her enjoy the sport all the more. Yeik said shes also come to a greater appreciation for the different styles of wrestling around the world.
Its a lot of fun. I get to see lots of new stuff, she said. And the wrestling style is so different overseas. They brawl a lot. Theyre not as in to the technique.
Fargo helped grow her confidence as well, as it was the first year shes fought in the tourney.
It was really good, she said. Especially since it was my first year this year. I knew I would do pretty well this year, but I didnt know I could win it.
But the high school game will bring some changes with it as well. Since high schools wrestle the collegiate style, and Yeik is more accustomed to freestyle wrestling, she said some adjustment is inevitable.
Yes and no, Yeik said. Freestyle is a lot of on-your-feet wrestling. It will help with that. I dont like it as much as freestyle. No one else wrestles collegiate except us.
Shes still looking forward to the challenge high school will bring though.
I just like wrestling, Yeik said. Im just looking forward to it because its high school. Most of my friends are older and talk about how fun it is to wrestle in high school.
As for getting ready to take on the boys more often, Yeik said she can handle the losses, but expects herself to top most girls now.
Especially with me being a girl, she said. It doesnt matter if I lose as much to a guy as to a girl. Because the guys, I wrestle them all the time.
Pat Yeik said it was a great sport for her kids to get involved in because of the responsibility it teaches them.
Its fun. What I like about it