After storming through the Body Bar Nationals/FILA Junior Championships last Sunday in Irving, Texas, Alexis Porter unwound by celebrating with a family dinner and a flick.
The choice of film — Godzilla.
That seems appropriate, given the path of destruction Porter left in the 63-kilo field in her first major tournament in a new age division.
The Shenendehowa senior made quite a debut as a Junior, going undefeated in securing a spot on a World Championships team for the second straight year.
Her performance allayed any apprehension she had about moving from a Cadet division where she competed against teenagers, to battling older competitors with more experience.
“I guess all that worrying about the age group change turned out to be a little unnecessary,” said Porter, who turned 18 on Sunday,
“I think my training helped make up for me not having seen the older girls.”
Porter, now an eight-time national champion, opened with a pin, then rattled off four shutout technical falls to reach the final, where she knocked off Olivia Seppinni of California, 5-2, 11-4.
“I think it’s a really important step, moving up to the next age group and doing well,” she said.
Her success at the Cadet level also came into play.
“I think I might have been a little bit of a dark horse, because people weren’t sure how I’d transition to the next age group,” the Shenendehowa High senior said. “But I think I proved I can compete and do well at this level.”
Earning a spot on the World Team also comes with a cost.
“This was going to be my last year at home, and now it looks like I won’t be home much this summer,” she said.
World Team commitments include training camps at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and another at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., where Porter will be attending school and wrestling collegiately.
“There never seems to actually be a time to revel in it once the competition is over,” Porter said. “There are camps, training commitments, travel. There’s a whole schedule of things to do.”
That also means less time than her friends will have to enjoy the last summer before college.
“I don’t think most people realize the sacrifice that we make in this sport,” Porter said. “But that’s how it goes. I’m used to it. I know what’s important to me and why I have to prepare.
“A lot of times, my friends will ask if there’s a chance I won’t be busy on the weekend, but they know most of the time there’s no chance.”
As for being a movie critic, Porter had mixed feeling about the latest remake of the classic Japanese monster movie.
“It was a little hard to follow, a lot of subplots,” she said.