Girl spends summer in Lufkin training to be a top wrestler

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - At 14 years old, daddy's little girl isn't afraid to take him down on the wrestling mat.

"It's kind of cool because if you throw a person that's twice your size, you know you can throw anyone else," wrestler Cassidy Jasperson said.

While most soon-to-be high school sophomores spend their summer relaxing, Cassidy is training three times a day in Lufkin.

She wrestles for her Clear Springs High School team in Houston, but on the weekends, she's hitting the mat with her dad and little brother.

"We're training, but it's time together," Cassidy's father and coach Bruce Jasperson said. "I get to be daddy and coach. Sometimes those lines blur a little bit, but it's the time of my life."

"My dad has always been a wrestler, so I kind of wanted to take after him," Cassidy said.

Bruce Jasperson worked up to the Olympic trial level in his day, now he trains Cassidy and her brother Connor.

It's paying off. Cassidy started wrestling competitively four years ago against the boys.

Since then she's been a regional and state qualifier and competed at nationals.

"It's definitely way more technical than you think and a lot of people think it's just for guys and it's really not," Cassidy said. "It's not as brutal as you think."

"She's so far more advanced than I was at this age," Bruce Jasperson said. "She's got a whole lot more physical ability. She's got the same heart. She's really going to be able to write her ticket. If she keeps training like she is now, she's got the whole world in front of her."

Part of her training routine includes pushing wheelbarrows with 200 pound weights inside, flipping tires, and sprinting on a treadmill while breathing through a snorkel with only a tiny air hole.

"Definitely whenever you win a match, you know it all paid off with all your hard work," Cassidy said.

The tough girl has dreams that her hard work will land her on an Olympic wrestling mat for Team USA.

For now, her dad said she's got a good shot at state this year.

Jasperson said Cassidy is also known for swimming five miles across Lake Livingston when she was just 10 years old. It took her more than four hours.

When she's not training, she runs track and cross country.

©2011 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.