Star University of Jamestown Wrestler’s Long Journey to the Top

By Jayci McCrory

Cara Romeike is a 5th year senior and star wrestler at the University of Jamestown, but don’t be fooled by her Jimmie Pride, this girl didn’t always bleed orange and black, and her journey to get here was anything but easy.

Cara started her collegiate wrestling career at Oklahoma City University, a mere three hours from her hometown of Coppell, Texas. The wrestler chose Oklahoma City University as it was THE place to be.

Adjusting to college was difficult for Romieke. She felt she didn’t know what she wanted to do at school and felt extremely homesick being away from her parents and lifelong friends for the first time. Little did she know, she’d be going home sooner than she thought.

Cara, mid take down with one of the school’s practice dummies, something she has done time and time again to perfect her moves.

One day at practice, Cara was taken down. She hit her head and hit it hard, which sent her into a seizing fit and was rushed to the hospital. Once there the doctors told her that if a hit like this happened again, the consequences would be far more dire than the concussion she had sustained. She was told that day that she should leave the mat and singlet behind, as the risks were too great to send her back to participating in a contact sport.

With that, she left Oklahoma City and went back home to Texas to live under her parents’ care. She spent her time helping coach her old high school’s wrestling team.

While she was still involved with the sport, she couldn’t close the hole in her heart where competing had left a vacancy, so she decided to go back to compete.

“A life without wrestling wasn’t a life at all,” Romeike says, when talking about her decision to end her leave of absence from the competition.

Cara entered an open tournament in May of 2016 where she was recruited by the University of Jamestown’s wrestling coach.

“I told my mom I was going to think about it, but I had already decided within five minutes of talking to [the coach]” Cara said, describing how quickly she had decided to rejoin the collegiate athletic scene.

Cara Romeike shows off her silly side and grip strength as she hangs from what she calls the monkey bars. Photo: Jayci McCrory

Within two months she was enrolled in class at the University of Jamestown. The transition was much easier this time around. She made great friends almost immediately coming here, enjoyed the warm and welcoming environment that is UJ, and finally felt like she knew what she wanted to do and was on the right path.

Although she continued to ups and downs, her teammates and her new coaches helped her overcome it all. Her success in overcoming obstacles lead her to success in a tournament hosted at the University of Jamestown last Saturday, March 16th. Cara made it all the way to the finals and even though she didn’t win, she felt on top of the world.

Now that wrestling season is over, Cara is focusing on her second passion: whales. Romeike will be discussing whales in her senior seminar presentation Monday April 1st at 7pm in Orlady 123.

After graduation, Cara hopes to teach high school biology and coach wrestling as there would be a place where she can actively participate in both of her passions.

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