Lathrop senior makes Division I commitment

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 9:12 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Every year high school seniors make the decision of what their next step in life is after graduation. Lathrop Malemutes senior, Autumn Poland, has made the choice to continue her academic and athletic career as a wrestler for Lindenwood University.

The Lindenwood University Lions are one of four universities that have a NCAA Division I wrestling program. Poland, will head to St. Charles, Missouri this coming fall.

“It feels like I have a new book to open,” said Poland regarding the relief of knowing where she’ll study and compete. “I’m excited that I’ll get to go and kind of ‘actually adult’.”

Poland will make the jump to collegiate wrestling after being one of the most successful girl’s wrestlers from Lathrop High School. Autumn won back-to-back individual state championships in her weight class during her junior and senior seasons. Those individual titles also propelled Lathrop to consecutive team state championships as well.

In addition to the state championships for Poland as an upperclassmen, she was also the runner up in her weight class as a sophomore (team finish: second), and third as a freshman (team finish: third).

Many people gathered at Interior Grappling Academy to celebrate and cheer on Autumn as she officially sign to become a Lion. Poland was surrounded by her immediate family at the signing table too, and even though she’ll be in Missouri, she won’t forget what interior wrestling has brought her.

“It’s like a family that I cannot get rid of,” Poland said as she let out a smile. “They’ve brought me this far, and have helped me though hard times, easy times, and have been with me for as long as I can think.”

The future is bright for Poland, and her family’s support has also played a large role in her ability to become a D-I wrestler.

“They have supported me by telling me that if I start something, I need to finish it,” Poland commented. “That got me in the mindset of: ‘if I do it, I have to push and put everything into it until it’s done’.”

Autumn Poland has had quite the high school career as a Lathrop Malemute, and will push for that same success as she embarks on her next student-athlete experience at Lindenwood University.

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