2019 Lafayette graduate Shar Whitten signs her national letter of intent to wrestle at Missouri Valley on Friday at Lafayette High School.

Shar Whitten became Lafayette’s first female wrestler to compete at the MSHSAA State Championships. Now the 2019 graduate has become the school’s first female alumna to wrestle in college.

Whitten signed her national letter of intent to wrestle at Missouri Valley College on Friday.

“I’m ready to stay fit, learn, hang out with friends and get close with a lot of people,” Whitten said.

The senior finished her final high school season with a MEC wrestling championship title and an overall record of 17-11.

The recent graduate decided she wanted to wrestle in college once she advanced to the state tournament. She committed to Missouri Valley shortly after.

Whitten said playing a sport while balancing academics and work can be challenging, but she recommends it.

“Wrestling for me, personally, helps with stress. Majority of the time in college I will be in wrestling, so I will be focused in school,” Whitten said.

Lafayette coach Joshua Walters said Whitten’s success has brought more attention to the school’s wrestling program for girls.

“The recruits for next year are 10 times than what I thought I was getting,” Walters said. “Shar has been a great, positive impact on this program.”

Whitten acknowledges that she has started something special at her high school.

“I would love to have people go out and enjoy what I did and maybe go to state. It’s a great feeling,” she said.

Whitten will be living in the same dorm as Benton wrestler Brook-Lynn Rush, who also competed in the state championships.

“I’ve been wrestling with her since eighth grade,” Whitten said about her new teammate. “We stayed in contact and I told her a lot about how my high school career was going.”

Whitten plans to study graphic design at Missouri Valley.

Kristen Carver can be reached

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