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Wrestling triumphs with tenacity

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   Yesterday, the Gabrielino High School wrestling team competed at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School. Scores were unavailable at press time.

   Last Saturday, the team hosted and competed at the Gabrielino Ten-Way tournament, and won third place as a team. Boys wrestling captain Joseph Martinez, senior, placed second, alongside seniors Isaac Valencia, Jason Rodriguez, and Dylan Frost in their respective weight classes. Junior Richard Muro got third in his weight class, while freshmen Ismael Lopez and Gabriel Beltran got first and third respectively.

   “It’s a very fun, exciting tournament,” stated Martinez. “Especially when we get a lot of people to come…it makes a big difference because [when you’re]  tired and you hear someone cheer for you, there’s someone pushing for you to win.”

   In addition to outside encouragement, Martinez emphasized how willpower must come from within. Unlike other sports that compete as a team, much of the success in wrestling comes from individual confidence and mental conviction.

   “This is one of those sports where you can be the strongest guy on the team, but if you’re not disciplined enough to do the extra work, it doesn’t matter,” Martinez said. “If they have more heart, more discipline, and more determination than you… they’re going to beat you 100 percent.”

   The Eagles went against El Monte High School on Dec. 1, also at Gabrielino. Seniors Frost, Lea Jordan, Martinez, Jason Rodriguez, Kyle Truong, and Valencia, as well as sophomore Amanda Ly won their matches.

   Though it is only her second year in wrestling, Jordan views the wrestling community like family. After taking a two-year break because of the pandemic, she is satisfied with her success but feels she still has room to grow.

   “I could’ve done better, but I’m still happy I got my pin,” Jordan said.

   Frost is even newer to the sport, joining only five weeks ago. He enjoys the excitement of winning and owes it to his persistence and determination.

   “I still have a lot to learn,” Frost stated. “[I want to work on my] technique.”

   At the Orange Lutheran Tournament on Nov. 26, Martinez placed fifth. The team trained hard every day in conditioning and at practice by running, wrestling, and building up stamina.

   “After a while in a wrestling match, your forearms are burning, your legs are hurting, because you’re holding basically like a squat position the whole six minutes,” described Martinez. “Preparation, all that goes into everyday practices, it’s another step into becoming someone better.”

   On Nov. 19, the girls varsity team attended the Girls Western Tournament at Western High School. Girls wrestling captain Karina Vargas, sophomore, and Ly placed fifth and sixth respectively.

   “It’s about the consistency and commitment,” Ly stated. “I went to practice every day, I didn’t miss a single day. ”

   Also on Nov. 19, boys varsity competed at South Torrance High School. Despite facing tougher competition, the team was not intimidated, and Martinez placed third.

   “We worked really hard to be able to go into these tournaments and put up a good fight, which we did,” Martinez said. “A lot of our first year guys went in there and held their own, which was a really good sight to see, especially so early on in the season.” 

   Wrestling opened its season at La Cañada High School on Nov. 12. There were no rankings as the tournament also served as a hydration test to determine the wrestlers’ weight class. It was a low-pressure opportunity for the wrestlers to scrimmage because there were no requirements around who could wrestle who.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Pu
Sophia Pu, Editor in Chief
Sophia Pu is the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper, marking her fourth year with the team. Outside of her editorial duties, Sophia is involved in Speech and Debate and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her commitment to the newspaper grew from a passion for interviewing a diverse range of individuals she might not have interacted with otherwise.
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