PRESS RELEASE – Original here
Frassati Catholic High School Communications
In July, Alexandra Wainwright ’20 competed at the Karate Junior National Championships in Greenville, South Carolina, winning a National Championship for a second consecutive year, and becoming the number one fighter in her class (Kumite 54 kg). With her win, Wainwright also secured a spot on Team USA for the Pan American Junior Championships in August.
“Winning the US title was an amazing accomplishment for me,” she said. “Winning this has also earned me a spot on Team USA, which without a doubt has been my dream since I was young.”
In August, at the Junior Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wainwright followed up her national championship by earning a bronze medal in her class on an international stage.
Now, Wainwright will have the opportunity to compete against number one fighters from 150 countries at the Junior World Championships in Tenerife, Spain from October 25-29, yet another opportunity for her to compete internationally at the sport’s highest level.
“Out of all the great things in life, three of my favorite things are sports, making new friends, and traveling around the world,” said Wainwright. “With karate, I can do all three of these things at once. Karate has opened doors for me to travel to over twenty countries around the world, and meet new people in the process, all while doing my favorite sport.”
Wainwright was first introduced to karate when she was seven years old.
“I started competing in kumite, or fighting, when I was 7. I used to actually hate it, but my sensei (teacher) would always tell my parents to keep pushing me because he saw something special with me since the beginning. So I kept practicing and one day, I watched some professional karate athletes sparring and ever since then, I fell in love with the sport.”
Balancing school, personal training, and even school sports — Wainwright plays varsity basketball at Frassati Catholic — hasn’t been easy, but it is has been a welcome challenge.
“Karate is built on many values such as respect, integrity, love, and the pursuit to seek perfection,” said Wainwright. “It has taught me how to discipline myself in a way that I would not have learned on my own. It’s really hard to balance all of my work and play multiple sports at the same time, but I’ve managed to figure out how to do it. A lot of the time I’m doing homework in the car, or wherever I am. I have a lot of late nights staying up studying for tests, but it’s all worth it in the end. Frassati athletics has actually helped me cross-train for karate. Basketball requires a lot of running, agility, and quickness. In karate, you have to be in good shape to fight for two minutes where you’re constantly moving in all directions.”
Even with the tremendous demands on her time, Wainwright has still settled in and found a home at Frassati Catholic, and an athletic role model in the school’s patron, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
“Honestly the best thing about Frassati Catholic is the people. There’s just something about this small school that makes it feel like home. Pier Giorgio’s spirit is very evident here.”
Wainwright’s short term focus is on competing at the Junior World Championships. In the long term, she has one thing on her mind: qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“Currently, there are no colleges that offer a karate program, but I will continue to compete and strive to be in 2020 Olympics,” she said. “I am currently ranked the number 12 fighter in the world, and number 3 in North and South America. If I move up to the top 4 in the world, or the number 1 fighter in North and South America by 2020, then I will be eligible to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.”
The United States Olympic Committee isn’t able to cover the cost of athletes to go to tournaments. Wainwright has established a page to help with her trip to Spain for the Junior World Championships in October. Learn more here.
About Frassati Catholic High School: Founded in 2013, Frassati Catholic High School serves the families and parishes in the north Houston area of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Administered by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation from Nashville, TN, Frassati Catholic High School prepares students to walk on the path of true happiness through a robust college-preparatory curriculum rooted in the Catholic faith. The school currently serves students in grades 9-12. For more information about Frassati Catholic High School, contact Kyle Smith, director of communications, at 832-616-3227.