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Travelers Rest High student wins national boxing title

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MOBILE, Ala. – On Saturday, Anna Crutchfield, a rising junior at Travelers Rest High School, won her first national boxing title, putting the 16-year-old one step closer to her dream of competing on the U.S. Olympic boxing team.

2013 Junior Olympic National Tournament champion Anna Crutchfield with U.S. Olympic team head coach Pedro Roque Otano.After recently making it through both state- and region-level competitions, Crutchfield advanced to the 2013 Junior Olympic National Tournament, held this week at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Ala. The tournament featured 15- and 16-year-old boxers from 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Crutchfield, who competes in the featherweight division, was the number two seed going in to her first bout on Thursday against Melanie Gonzalez, from Houston. She won the matchup by split decision and moved on to the semifinals, facing off against opponent Zoe Glass, from Lansing, Mich., on Friday.

Following a victory by unanimous decision against Glass, Crutchfield advanced to the championship bout, where she defeated Jermesha Poke, from St. Louis, Mo., by unanimous decision to take home the gold medal.

Winning the championship title allows Crutchfield to compete at the international level as part of an international team, according to her father, Scott.

"They've asked Anna to get her passport as soon as she gets home," he said. "The win opens a lot of doors, and her next fight will be in Seoul, South Korea."

Dedicated to her goal of boxing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Crutchfield trains for three to five hours a day, seven days a week at the Greenville Boxing Club under the direction of her coach, Lamar “KidFire” Parks as well as assistant coaches Shakir Robinson and Ernie Cuevas.

Parks is a Greenville native and has a celebrated boxing career of his own. He went 174-15 as an amateur and 28-1 as a professional, including being the middle weight contender, and believes Crutchfield has what it takes to be an Olympic contender.

"She works hard, and I think she has a really good shot at making the Olympic team," Parks said.

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(Pictured: 2013 Junior Olympic National Tournament champion Anna Crutchfield with U.S. Olympic boxing team head coach Pedro Roque Otano.)

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