Dress for Success collection day at WQAD

QC freshman girl gaining national recognition in unique way

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DAVENPORT-- Freshman Tateum Park wants her first high school prom night to be perfect which means a lot of pins to hem her dress. But Tateum is used to pins, but hers are usually on the wrestling mat.

"It takes a lot of heart and self confidence. It's really mental," says Tateum.

Tateum has been doing the wrestling dance since she was nine. Her dad Joshua says Tateum's love for the sport came from watching her big brother.

"After she saw him going to all his events, it was like hey, can I try this? Why the heck not? You only live once, and you're only young once," says Tateum's dad Joshua.

There was no stopping this girl after that. Her record speaks for itself.

"I just won Brute Nationals in Missouri. I'm a two time state champion there. The year before I took second," says Tateum.

She's also the only girl on her high school varsity wrestling team at Davenport North.

Her skills have gained her national attention. She has beaten some of the top wrestlers in the world, and she's only a freshman.

And while racking up the medals comes naturally to her, not everyone is always cheering for the girl on the wrestling mat.

"Society deems, even today, that women aren't as strong as men, and that's not true. She's so much stronger, and I've learned that," says Joshua.

"I like wrestling against the guys and the girls. It's just wrestling. I see it as wrestling competitor against competitor," says Tateum.

This champion doesn't sweat the small stuff.

"You will come across people who won't like you or who will have mean things to say. Continue through it. They'll get over it," says Tateum.

One day Tateum aspires to compete in the Olympic trials.

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