White River’s Shelby Moore earns coveted spot on U17 Women’s World Team

Her team will compete July 25-31 in Rome, Italy.

As one of the top young female wrestlers in the nation – actually, No. 1 in her weight class – Buckley’s Shelby Moore has already compiled a lengthy list of impressive accomplishments.

It was just over a year ago that she traveled to the Midwest and, during a span of roughly 48 hours, captured a trio of national championships. Then, turning to her high school season, Moore capped the winter campaign by winning the Class 2A state title at Mat Classic in Tacoma.

But for those dedicated to the sport, there’s always another challenge on the horizon. For the ambitious Moore, the next goal was a lofty one: earning a spot on the nation’s U17 Women’s World Team.

Consider that a challenge met and a goal achieved.

Justin Newby, president of the Washington State Wrestling Association, presented Shelby Moore with a $1,000 check during a ceremony in Buckley.

PHOTO BY ED HAWTHORNE Justin Newby, president of the Washington State Wrestling Association, presented Shelby Moore with a $1,000 check during a ceremony in Buckley.

Moore traveled in early May to Fort Worth, Texas, where she bested a talented field at 57 kilos (126 pounds) and secured a spot on the U.S. team that will compete July 25-31 in Rome, Italy. Wrestlers from all over the world will converge for the U17 World Championships.

At the U17 Nationals in Texas, Moore – who competes for the White River Wrestling Club – landed in the finals against Skylar Little Soldier. The championship round was a best-of-three affair, but Moore made quick work of her Minnesota opponent, winning by an 11-0 technical fall in their first bout, then closing things out with a 5-0 decision.

The coveted title at the U17 Nationals capped a busy and successful spring for Moore. In early April, she traveled to Iowa where she won the Girls Junior Folkstyle Nationals and, just a week before competing in Fort Worth, took top honors at the Girls High School National Recruiting Showcase in Las Vegas.


Because she will be representing the United States at the World Championships, much of Moore’s expenses will be covered. But there are still incidental costs and the Washington State Wrestling Association recently stepped up with a $1,000 check.

Justin Newby, president of the WSWA, made a trip from his Spokane home to personally hand over the donation. The presentation came during a brief ceremony at the White River Wrestling Club’s training center, housed in the former Wickersham Elementary building in Buckley.

A week before she heads to Italy, Moore will be found at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Making the U.S. World Team is a major accomplishment, but wasn’t a surprising development.

“I was expecting to make the team,” she said, pointing out that she had placed third during last year’s nationals.

During a video interview posted from Fort Worth, Moore was quick to give credit to her coaches and mentors. That includes WRWA coach Chris DiCugno and a pair of family members (her father Jeff and brother Nathan).

Wrestling is very much a family affair in the Moore home. Nathan Moore was a state champion during his time at White River High and now competes collegiately for Northern Colorado.

So, what now?

With the World Championships not far off, Moore will keep the same demanding routine that has made her a force on the national scene.

That means training six days a week, alternately lifting weights and perfecting on-the-mat skills.

That heavy training regimen, combined with a busy travel schedule, called for some adjustment to Moore’s education. She is enrolled in the Running Start program and studies online through Pierce College. Aside from the flexibility, Moore said, it also allows her to achieve her goal of graduating from high school while also earning a two-year college degree.

That path has allowed Moore to climb to the top of the U.S. wrestling ladder, where she is now poised to take on the rest of the world.

As for the immediate future, “Training’s going to continue and we’re going to have fun doing it,” she said during the video interview conducted soon after her victory at the U17 Nationals.