SALEM, Ore. -- Fourteen-year-old Alexys Zapeda has had an amazing year as a wrestler.

The girl from Gervais won the nationals while representing the Salem Elite Wrestling Club earlier this year and earned a spot on the U.S. National Team. She went to Chile and won the gold at the Pan Am Games without giving up a point and was named the outstanding wrestler of the event.

Zepeda says wearing the Team USA uniform was great.

“It puts a smile on my face. Representing the U.S. is really awesome,” she said.

She’s only been wrestling for four years but has fallen in love with the sport. She encourages other girls to try wrestling.

“Girls are just as tough as boys. They’ll love it, I know they will.”

Zepeda is looking to use her wrestling to go as far as she can. That includes the possibility of wrestling in college and the Olympics. She’ll wrestle for Gervais High School in the fall in the 113-pound weight class.