HEISER: Standout Stewartstown wrestler changes course, but still finds success on mat
- Stewartstown wrestler Tiffani Baublitz earned a national team berth recently.
- She finished second at the Women's World Team Trials in the 69K Cadet Division.
- Baublitz recently left Wyoming Seminary and is now attending Kennard-Dale High.
Tiffani Baublitz has taken the latest steps on her wrestling journey.
That journey, however, has encountered a rather significant change in direction that has brought her home to York County.
The Stewartstown standout is no longer competing for the powerhouse Wyoming Seminary program in Kingston located in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Rather, Baublitz has returned to southeastern York County and is attending Kennard-Dale High School, where she's a 16-year-old sophomore.
One thing, however, hasn't changed. Baublitz is still enjoying success on the wrestling mat.
Making national team, headed to Mexico: Over the weekend Baublitz competed in the 2019 Women’s National World Team Trials in Irving, Texas. She returned home with a berth on one of the national teams.
She finished second in the 69-kilogram (152-pound) Cadet Division, earning her a spot on the Cadet National Team. She will represent the USA at the Cadet Pan American Championship in Morelia, Mexico, on June 28-30, 2019.
She also took fourth in 68-kilogram (149-pound) Junior Division, barely missing out on a chance to be a Junior National Team Member. Only the top-three place winners make the national team.
The Cadet Division is for younger wrestlers born from 2002-2004. The Junior Division is for older wrestlers born from 1999-2002.
Those are just the latest in a laundry list of wrestling honors for Baublitz in the last few years.
Leaving Wyoming Seminary: Baublitz had hoped that her move to Wyoming Seminary a couple years back would help her achieve her dream of one day competing in the Olympics.
In March, however, Baublitz opted to leave Wyoming Seminary, which is the only school in the state to offer a wrestling program dedicated just to girls.
Baublitz said the Wyoming Seminary program "wasn’t a great fit for me. I wish the program nothing but success."
"As with any decision, a lot of factors are involved," said Tiffani's mother, Tracy.
It's a move that Tracy said has worked out well for Tiffani and the family.
"We couldn’t be happier to have Tiffani home," Tracy said. "She’s thriving in the classroom, on the wrestling mat and in life. She’s in a great mindset at the moment."
At a crossroads: At this point, however, Tiffani still isn't sure the exact path that her educational and wrestling future will take. She's hit a bit of a crossroads.
"I’m re-evaluating my future, at the moment," she said. "I’m not sure what I want it to look like. It’s been a crazy few months leading up to World Team Trials."
Her mother believes that Tiffani, no matter her future path, is still on the road to success.
"She’s a strong, independent young lady and can do anything she puts her mind to," Tracy said.
Working with local clubs: Since her return home, Tiffani has been training with the Modern Day Gladiator Wrestling Club and Ballyhoo Wrestling Club.
At the Modern Day club, Tiffani is working under her longtime coaches Gino Frank, Brad Brosius and Brian Gross. At Ballyhoo Wrestling Club she's working with coaches Chris Albright and Eric Albright.
Those are familiar names to folks in the York County wrestling community.
In addition, she's developing her strength and conditioning with coaches Mike and Sally McKenna at McKenna’s Gym.
Tiffani said those coaches were a big reason for her success in Texas.
Thanking her family: She also made it a special point to thank her family in helping her make a smooth transition back home to York County.
"Thank you for always being there for me and being my foundation," Tiffani wrote in a Facebook post. "You’ve believed in me when I haven’t believed in myself and wouldn’t let me quit. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without your love and support."
That "love and support" will be vital if Tiffani is to continue to thrive in a sport that can be brutally tough and endlessly challenging.
Tiffani's wrestling journey has changed course and her final destination is anything but certain.
That journey, however, should ultimately provide its own rewards that go far beyond medals and trophies.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.