Wrestling is a mentally challenging and physically demanding sport. Those who wish to
be competitive on any level will have to sacrifice a lot in order to be great at wrestling.
Florida A&M University’s wrestling club capped off its 2022-2023 season with a bang
when it traveled to Puerto Rico to compete in the 2023 National Collegiate Wrestling
Association Championship. Both the men’s and women’s teams vied to be crowned
national champions. The teams consisted of wrestlers from schools all across the
FAMU wrestling returned home with two new additions to its All-American legacy: 123
pounder Asia Ronan-Johnson as well as 235 pounder Jada Robinson. Both placed
fourth in their respective weight class earning the title of the newest FAMU wrestling
female All-Americans since 2013.
“I wasn’t necessarily nervous, but definitely excited. I couldn’t be more proud of
everyone on the team that competed,” said Ronan-Johnson, a graduating political
Both women prepared all year for this tournament, dedicating numerous hours to
perfect their technique under the coaching of Thomas White and Fredrick Simmons.
Both coaches set aside time specifically to develop them as wrestlers. As she reflected
on her season, Robinson says that some of her achievements can be attributed to the
time the coaches took to focus on them.
“Not only physically did they help prepare me, but mentally as well. Everything that they
told me that I would face at nationals or in any match came true. Every move that they
drilled into my head were the key moves that allowed me to take the title of All-
American,” Robinson, a first-year pre-nursing student, said. “I remember vividly coach
White coming up to me before each match at nationals and telling me it’s time to lock in.
And I did. I would like to thank them for a seriously unforgettable season and I’m excited
for what the upcoming seasons will bring.”
Wrestling in itself doesn’t receive nearly the same recognition as other mainstream
sports such as basketball, football or baseball. It is even harder for the women to get the
same recognition as the men when it comes to wrestling.
But in recent years women’s wrestling has been more and more successful in garnering
more and more attention as it fights to be held to the same standards as the men. Both
wrestlers hope that their accomplishment serve as a beacon of hope to other women.
“I feel as if my accomplishment is a huge stepping stone on top of all the other amazing
women in wrestling. Just showing women that wrestling is also a sport for women is in
itself a huge part of gaining recognition,” Robinson said. “Women are extremely
resilient, we are strong. No matter how much people may believe that women are weak
and that we’re only meant for ‘girl’ sports, we’re just as capable as a man.”
In the coming weeks FAMU wrestling plans to celebrate these two women and their
accomplishments by honoring them with banners to be hung up in the Hansel Tookes
Recreation Center where they regularly hold their practices.