GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — Union High School will make history this week when a female wrestler advances to the state finals for the first time in the school’s history.

Senior Ayla Lipscomb is a scholar at City High School and a wrestler for the Union High School wrestling team. Ayla has been wrestling for the Red Hawks since her freshman year and will compete in the state finals at Ford Field in Detroit this weekend.

Ayla boasts a 24-9 record. She’s had only three defeats to female wrestlers. Her victories at tournaments include first-place finishes at Northview, Fennville, and West Catholic.

“It feels amazing to watch all the work I've put into this sport pay off and to make history for my school,” Ayla said of her chance to compete in the state finals.

Ayla says her success is supported by her mother, who has attended every tournament. She also credits the guidance and mentorship of her coaches.

“Ayla is the perfect example of what happens when a scholar athlete stays focused on both their academics as well as athletics,” said Union High School Athletic Director Justin Walker. “Ayla’s hard work and dedication are a great example that scholar athletes should follow.”

After high school, Ayla plans to compete on the Grand Valley State University Girl’s Freestyle team.

She hopes her story inspires other girls.

"Be aware of the challenges,” Ayla said. “But remember, you are in charge of yourself, and you can be great."