TROUP, TX (KLTV) - With such little experience in the ring, Troup Boxing Gym's Megan Ybarra wasn't sure she belonged on the biggest stage.
"My coaches would talk about it, like you can get here. tell me you can do. Being there in Florida at a national tournament, that made it real.
Standing toe to toe with the very best, the 17 year old took home the silver medal in her 106 pound weight class at the National Women's Golden Gloves in Florida.
"At first you always want the best and want gold," said Ybarra. "At first it was crushing, but then I thought about it. I got silver at my first national tournament. And I was so happy and grateful. Not a lot of people can say that."
Troup Boxing Gym coach Shawn Vascocu was proud of Ybarra's progress.
"There's a lot of competition down there," said Vascocu. "There's Olympic girls there, it's a very big learning experience."
The Tyler native fell short of the gold losing to one of the top ranked fighters in the country. But her first career defeat may have been the most important moment in her boxing life.
"I think that was an eye opener for me," said Ybarra. "I didn't get my butt kicked or anything. I was where I need to be with the girls on the same level as me."
"I always knew she had it in her to do well," said Vascocu. "But the attitude she has now coming back home after that fight and experience is exactly what I was hoping for.
The work continues. Ybarra plans to return and win gold next year and is determined to make the US Olympic Team in 2016.
"Once I was there and really got the experience, I was like 'I can do this.'" said Ybarra. "I didn't believe them. Yeah I wanted to go to the Olympics, but now it's so surreal, this can happen for me if I keep pushing."