The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Outside the box

Meryn Zangaro lives her life according to her own standards, while always challenging the boundaries.
Outside+the+box

 

Meryn Zangaro will leave a more unique mark on Greater Latrobe and beyond. As a senior, Meryn wanted to challenge herself and live outside the box. She surely does that–at Eastern Westmoreland Career Technical Center, on the track field, and on the wrestling mats.

Meryn began going to EWCTC for masonry when she was a sophomore. “It was the hardest thing in that tech school for me. I wanted to be a part of something that was really challenging,” she said. In masonry, the brains and the bronze are equally engaged. She quickly overcame the challenge and became one of the best in her class.  

 Mr. Wilson, her masonry teacher at EWCTC, took the role of Meryn’s mentor. “I felt like I was getting something extra out of masonry because he wanted to also teach me to be a good person on top of skill. He didn’t just teach me about masonry, he taught me how to just be a solid worker and just be a good person in general.” 

“He’s tried to get into my brain about who I am and what I need to do to be the best version of myself. He’s just digging at me every day to improve. I don’t think there are too many adults that do that for you–you know, just some random kid who shows up at that tech class.”

Her skill and leadership earned Meryn a place as a junior to compete at SkillsUSA hosted in Hershey, PA. There, she had the opportunity to showcase her skills alongside some of the best in the state. She was given a blueprint and six hours to build a small wall. “I finished and I felt good about it,” Meryn said. 

She takes that same tenacity to the track field. An athlete, Meryn throws for the track and field team, throwing shotput and disks. Over this offseason, Meryn practiced hard to prepare for her senior season. She’s always pushing herself to throw better but throwing is not just physical.  “I realize how in my head I am when I’m throwing. I’ll get in the circle and then I’m zoned out completely and I just need to focus on every single little part.” 

“Throwing is so mental for me and I’ve learned to not be so mean to myself. I realize how in my head I am when I’m throwing, because I’ll throw and I’ll be like do it again. Do it again. Do it again. I push myself but I think that helps me. I push myself to throw.”

Meryn pushes herself in the throwing circle and also on the wrestling mats. Meryn is one of the first girl wrestlers in the history of GLSH. Girl’s wrestling is growing across the nation, with a 46% average increase of wrestlers across all states from 2022-23, an increase of 16,753. Girls wrestling is continuing to grow at an explosive rate, that growth can be felt here in Latrobe, for the first time in Greater Latrobe High School history, a girl’s wrestling team was established, Coached by Mr. Ludwig and Assistant Coach Ms. Frye. 

As team captain, she prides herself on helping the other girls on the inaugural team. “I try to connect with everyone as much as I can and get to know what they’re trying to learn and help them as best as I can.” She mentioned two standouts, Liz Wilson and Layla Klosky, who she sees much potential in.

“I wrestle with Liz a lot and I have 30 pounds on her but I’m trying to help her be the best by wrestling with her. When she’s in the circle she’s gonna be with people lighter than me. I just want to help her as best I can because I know she’s into it. She wakes up at five and calls me and says ‘come pick me up we’re going to the gym’ so we’ve been lifting together.”

Meryn’s drive is as contagious as her compassion. She understands the feeling of being a female in a male dominated sport. She encourages Layla to have that same confidence when working out or practicing. “I reassured her that Latrobe has a boys wrestling team full of motivated students who are not going to be mean to Layla.” Meryn pushes the envelope for this new female wrestling team as she breaks boundaries. 

Coach Ludwig is one of the influences on her to think about wrestling her senior year “I just want to go, I just think it’s going to be awesome for me, my senior year to do something totally I never thought I was going to do.”

Meryn did her own research on her coach, he wrestled at Dairy and coached there as well. She said that Coach Ludwig wants wrestling to be for girls. “He says to us that it’s for everyone and it’s just going to make you a better person,” said Meryn. 

Mrs. Frye, the art teacher at the junior high, is the assistant coach. “She’s our assistant coach, she originally wanted to help with nutrition but she’s there with a whistle now. She’s helping us a lot.” 

Meryn anticipates having a tough yet exciting season. There’s about ten teams in the region they’ll face off during their first club season. “We’re a club until we hit five years,” said Meryn. 

Greater Latrobe has a storied history with wrestling. Vinny Kilkeary. Ryan Goodman. Zach Zavatsky. Luke Pletcher. All who have their photos on the wall of fame.

Strapping in for her first season, Meryn has the drive to excel past her own expectations. “I want to push myself so hard that I get even close to getting a picture down there,” she said. Her goals are lengthy but not out of reach. 

Because of Meryn’s attitude, she will step into her bright future, attending Kent State University with goals to continue her throwing career and become a construction manager.  

One of Meryn’s biggest inspirations is her sister Brynn, who appreciates David Goggins,  “She read both of his books and I see her motivated, running every single day,” 

“I love David Goggins. I want to be like David Goggins. That’s my inspiration,” said Meryn. 

Meryn has many aspirations during her senior year and beyond, she pushes outside of the box–wherever the box may be. 

 

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About the Contributor
Trent Barnhart, Staff Writer
Trent Barnhart is a Senior at Greater Latrobe High School. He is 17 years old and a member of the Latrobe Highpost. He enjoys going out into the field and taking notes about things going on in the world. Trent enjoys nature, photography, music, sports and plays on the varsity golf team. Trent also watches a lot of sports too, his favorite sports teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Portland Trail Blazers. After high school he plans on going to college for a degree in natural science, he has been interested in natural sciences since he was little. One specific field he’s interested in is Primatology, which studies primates.

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