- Hometown: El Cajon, California
- High School: Valhalla High
- College: Northern Michigan University and University of Minnesota at Morris
- Current Residence: Colorado Springs, CO
- Neuromuscular Massage Therapist
- US Army Sergeant
- Joined Army in May 2008, Horizontal Construction Engineer
- 2x US National Champion in Women’s Freestyle Wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs
- Professional MMA fighter for Invicta FC at 115 lbs
I didn’t start wrestling until my sophomore year of high school at age 16. I joined wrestling because I didn’t want to take P.E. class in school. There were some others girls on the team when I started, but most of the girls left after the first few matches. Originally, I was pretty self-conscious about my body at the time and felt uncomfortable wearing the singlets. But I got used to it over time, and eventually I fell in love with the sport.
After high school, I went to the University of Minnesota at Morris. I went there because they had the first women’s wrestling program in the US. After college, I trained at the Olympic Training Center for 2 years.
Then in 2012 I left the sport because I kept on getting hurt. I discovered MMA and I realized that it was a lot less impactful on my body. I spent some time fighting in MMA with Invicta. I soon recognized how important wrestling was to my fighting technique and I wanted to get back into the sport and improve on my wrestling technique.
My high school coach, Coach Takahashi, was one of my biggest mentors. He was like a second father to me. We were close for a very long time. He was always looking out for me and would call me often to check up on me and see how I was doing. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2008, but I still feel like he is always in my corner. He was a special person.
My best friend, Olympic Bronze Medalist Randi Miller, is also one of my role models. Randi has a strong work ethic and always carries a no-excuse attitude. We met in northern Michigan and we moved out to the Olympic training center together in Colorado. We are different people in terms of training, but she is a very motivating individual. I like to think of ourselves as each other’s cheerleaders. Even when one of us loses in a tournament, we are always ecstatic to cheer for the other. Randi really brings the best out of me.
A nickname is an important thing, especially in fighting. Some people originally started calling me “beastmode,” but I thought that didn’t suit me. Then my sister thought of the nickname “dreamcatcher,” and it stuck.
I am a massage therapist as a civilian, but I am also a heavy equipment operator. My older sister is a massage therapist also. I really enjoy massage therapy and I eventually wants to go to school to be a physical therapist. I really likes helping people and I am extremely interested in the human body. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends and people who are important to me. I have two dogs that I like spending time with.