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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Wrestling team appreciates veterans, Banh-Thai, Tan

   Gabrielino High School’s wrestling team consists of 23 members. Seniors Baron Banh-Thai and Logan Tan are two of the most experienced wrestlers on the team. 

  Banh-Thai has been on the wrestling team for four consecutive years. What keeps Banh-Thai motivated to stay on the team are the values wrestling has taught him.

   Banh-Thai stated, “Wrestling has taught me independence and that it’s about having resilience to be able to train and have fun in this sport,” he continued, “it’s a tough sport but it is pretty fun and easy to get along with everyone in the group.”

   Wrestling is both a physically and mentally demanding sport. Mental challenges often made Banh-Thai doubt his own abilities, however, such challenges did not stop him from being a determined individual and eventually rising above and beyond.

   “There was this one particular tournament in my sophomore year, where I was down 0-8 but I never gave up. I saw an opportunity and grabbed [the opponent’s] leg and went for a roll, completely turning the tables,” explained Banh-Thai. 

   Banh-Thai is also known for being a supportive team member and often takes the leadership role when necessary.

   Head coach Marcelino Ruiz stated, “On the mat, he will be very social. He is a very ‘how can I help’ kind of person, [and] that goes a long way. Wrestling is an individual sport but he is willing to take the time to help everyone else as well.”

   One of Banh Thai’s many goals for this season is to reach CIF finals.

   Fellow teammate, Tan has been on the wrestling team for three years. With a background in judo, Tan excelled in wrestling. 

   Ruiz stated, “Whatever position he is in, he always makes something out of nothing. Somehow catches other wrestlers off guard, especially with his judo background, he will just somehow flip them over.” 

   One of Tan’s most memorable moments in a wrestling match occurred in his freshman year, at the John Glenn Varsity tournament. 

  Tan stated, “I had just come back from the JV tournament with a second-place medal, but I was not expecting to do very well on the varsity level. However, I surprised myself and ended up getting fourth, placing the second-highest overall on my team.”

   Similar to Banh-Thai, one of Tan’s goals is to compete in the CIF finals. Tan also hopes to be the second person from Gabrielino to make it to State championships. 

   A fellow teammate, Ivan Orellana, senior, stated, “Both have positive personalities and also motivate their teammates to do their best. In fact, both typically lead the team during practice, and give it their best efforts on the mats.” 

   Orellana continued,”They are both genuinely supportive teammates and we as a team are lucky to have them.”

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Wrestling team appreciates veterans, Banh-Thai, Tan