Washington teen doubles as wrestling star, pageant princess

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

At this point, it isn't completely revolutionary for a female football player to also gain honors as part of a  school's homecoming court, an honor traditionally decided based almost solely on concerns of popularity and beauty.

A female wrestler gaining such acclaim in an official beauty pageant? That's a different matter, but it's also precisely what unfolded in suburban Seattle, where the girl crowned Daffodil Princess as part of the annual Daffodil Festival beauty pageant also happened to be a top female wrestler at her high school.

According to Seattle network KING-5 TV, the confident star in question is Katey Della-Giustina, a senior at Emerald Ridge (Wash.) High. The teen, who also runs on the cross country team and takes a full complement of Advanced Placement courses, was named her school's representative on the 2011 Daffodil Court after a compelling performance in the pageant in which she cited her father's military duty as an inspiration in her day-to-day life.

As for wrestling, Della-Giustina made it clear that her participation in the sport is more than just symbolic.

"It's the hardest sport I've ever done," Della-Giustina told KING-5. "I get butterflies before the match and I'm nervous all day."

Yet the wrestler's father said the honor that came from his daughter being named the Daffodil Princess for Emerald Ridge was also significant in helping her prove that she could defy traditional stereotypes.

"The wrestling and the Daffodil Princess, it's sort of a dichotomy," Dave Della-Giustina told KING-5. "One thing, she's supposed to be pretty and do lots of things to help the community, and wrestling is such a rough sport.

"It's kind of exciting to see a girl who's out there who's trying to push the envelope of what girls do. I'm so proud of her."

As for the princess herself, she said that winning the pageant helped reaffirm her commitment to do what she really wants to in life, regardless of how different parts of her life might seem incongruous.

"You can do everything you want to do. You don't have to give things up just because you're going to be busy, and life's stressful. Just do what you love and take it from there."

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