It's been quite a week for Alexis Porter. On Saturday, she picked up a dominant win in international action in her home gym. And just a few days later, she committed to McKendree University in Illinois, where she will receive a full athletic scholarship.
“I took a visit and I really, really liked the campus,” Porter said. “The school is a good size and there are really good academic programs in areas I’m interested in. I thought it was the best fit for me.”
It didn’t hurt that the Bearcats have already seen success in their debut season (with wins over the #4 and #5 teams in the nation). And there are plans in place to build a dedicated wrestling building.
“The brand new facility wasn’t the deciding factor, but it influenced me,” she said. “I’m definitely excited about it.”
Porter, a four-time national champion who represented Team USA at this summer's Cadet World Championships in Serbia, also considered King, Campbellsville and Lindenwood.
She said she will finish her last high school season with Shenendehowa, but then looks forward to transitioning away from folkstyle – for good.
“In women’s college wrestling, it’s just freestyle,” she said. “I think I’m better at freestyle and I enjoy it more. It will keep me on track for my international goals.”
Porter put on a great display of international wrestling this past weekend. Prior to the USA vs. Russia Dual at Shenendehowa High School, Porter took on Canadian Keagin Collie at 65 kg. She took command from the start, racing out to a 6-0 lead after the first period and winning by 7-0 technical fall early in the second stanza.
“It was an incredible event,” Porter said. “It was a packed gym and being able to wrestle in front of the home crowd at my own school was amazing. Not too many people can say that they represented their country at their own school. I felt the adrenaline and really enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity for me.”
Porter will have more opportunities on the world wrestling scene after going 0-1 at the World Championships a few months ago. She has a developmental camp coming up in Philadelphia and plans to compete in Sweden in February and then in Austria in June.
“I definitely didn’t finish where I expected or hoped at the Worlds,” she said. “Sometimes you learn more from your failures than your successes. I took a lot from that trip. I have some more chances coming up to get some redemption and prove myself on the international stage. I expect there to be a much different outcome.”
For now, though, Porter is excited to go through her senior year of high school with her future much more clear.
“I’m glad to be done with the recruiting process,” she said. “I enjoyed it – it was definitely an experience. But now I can settle in and prepare for next year. There were a lot of decisions to be made and places to look at, but I’m really happy with my decision and how it all turned out.”
Alexis Porter wanted to thank her family, coaches and friends, saying that she “wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am without all of them.”