WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT WRESTLING AND WHY? I think for me the hardest part about wrestling is probably the practices. I don’t think I’ve ever been pushed so hard for so long. Thirty minutes of live wrestling with a partner that’s got nine-plus pounds or five-plus years on you is a little rougher than you’d think when you’re so small. The easy days are when we get to go on the 3 mile cemetery run and finish off with core as a team.
WHO IS OUR BIGGEST RIVAL? HOW WILL YOU PREPARE FOR THAT MATCH? Our season’s almost over, we have two more weeks and the kids that make it are going to state, but before that we have league and masters. I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll have any girls at 106s, but just in case all I can do is put in extra time in the mat shack in the mornings and after school, drilling to perfection. Conditioning and weight training have become my best friends.
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE DRILL AT PRACTICE? I don’t really have a specific drill I don’t like. Chickens aren’t too fun to be put in and Spladles look like they hurt, but I’ve never been put in one. I know they’re fun to put somebody in though. When we go live and I’m a little tired I hold my partner in them to count to five so I can catch my breath.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRESTLING AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN THE WRESTLING TEAM? This is my first year wrestling for Corning High and my first time ever as well. I joined because a lot of my family wrestled and I always thought it looked like a fun sport. I took stats and helped out where I could before but as soon as I heard the high school was starting up an all-girls team I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
HOW MANY HOURS OF PRACTICE DO YOU PUT IN, IN A WEEK? About 10 hours or more a week. 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and an hour or so in the morning if I can make it to morning practice. And Saturday morning I wake up and pack to spend my day at tourneys that keep me away from home till as late as 11 p.m. sometimes.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS YEAR? My goals this year are to get as far as I can without getting too seriously hurt. I still have my track season coming up and I want to make my senior year a medal filled one. I’m still not sure if I have any girls at 106s so I might just fill in a spot for league. Next step is masters where the competition really gets good. I’m not exactly sure how rough it’s going to be, but I know it’s going to be quite the experience.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVE? My favorite move is probably a Peterson. I’ve never had anybody slip out of one and I got my first boy pinned in one. It was something I learned by accident actually. I didn’t know what I was doing until Villalba walked up and moved us around just a little bit and called it a shipplehoot. The next week we drilled it and I was like “OK, OK, I’ve found my move” and now it comes almost naturally. Sometimes it takes a little more elbow grease than usual but the end result is always the same. It’s my go-to.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY FOR A MATCH? The day of a match I’m on top of my weight checking in with Coach Villalba in the morning, making sure I’m where I’m supposed to be. That day I take it easy, I kind of go through the motions and when it comes time to weigh in before my match I’m still messing around with my team. The seriousness sets in when coach tells us it’s time to get ready. I like to take a little time to run through the moves I know and clear my head. If my curiosity gets the best of me I might ask around for who my girl is. I don’t like meeting my girls before I wrestle them, I’d rather get to know them on the mat and meet them later. It makes it easier on my nerves to wait to put a face to my opponent so when I look for her, I look for shoulders down. I just want to know whether she’s tall or short, it gives me a better idea of what my plan of action should be. I always like to have an idea or two of what I can do in different situations. And when my name’s called I’ve got my headgear on and I’m ready to go.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT THAT YOU CAN RECALL? Over winter break we had double practices (9 a.m.-11 a.m. and 3 p.m.-5 p.m.). We drilled bulldogs, Petersons, fireman’s and duck unders in the mornings and in the afternoon the girls got back together to perfect them. That weekend coaches told us we’d get gift cards if we could hit any one of those, and first round at the Sac Town Showdown I walked onto the mat, got a crappy handshake and knew I was getting a gift card when I got home. The whistle blew and I went in crooked, but I hit a fireman, and then a bulldog and finally ended with a pin. I had Miranda and Alfonso in my corner and we don’t hear much through the slicker and head gear, but I remember hearing a booming “That was dirty! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Girls took home first as a team and I took home first as an individual that weekend.
HOW HAS WRESTLING CHANGED YOU? Wrestling is a very physically demanding sport and I knew that coming into this, but I don’t think I knew just how hard it was going to test me mentally. It makes you think about a lot of different things in a lot of different ways. Wrestling has definitely made me more of a go getter and has taught me how to chase what I want with all that I’ve got. If I can’t say that I left everything I had to give out on that mat, it doesn’t matter if my hand is the one raised, I didn’t do what I went out there to do. Effort is everything and more.
DO YOU SEE WRESTLING IN YOUR FUTURE? I don’t see myself wrestling competitively after high school but I do want to stay involved in the wrestling community here. I have friends that will go on to wrestle in college and I would love to come back to the high school to help whenever I can. This wrestling program is more important than I think most people realize. These coaches here are more than just coaches and this program is more than just a wrestling team. It really is a huge family. It brings alumni back year after year, former wrestlers come back to coach our new teams, we spit out champion after champion and I couldn’t imagine Corning High without this program.