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Posted on Mar 15, 2017

Two Quincy girls have strong debut in freestyle wrestling

Cynthia Diaz, in green, wrestling for the Quincy Jacks. The grappler has begun her offseason keeping busy, wrestling in a tournament in Othello, finishing among the top four.

Two girl wrestlers from Quincy, a high schooler and a junior high student, earned high marks at an all-girls tournament in Othello.
Cynthia Diaz, a high school student, and seventh-grader student Shannon Workinger made the trip to the Columbia Cup in Othello, alongside coach Mark Kondo.
Kondo, an assistant coach with the Quincy Lady Jacks, said Workinger wrestled 10 times and Diaz nine.
Workinger wrestled in the Schoolgirl division and Diaz wrestles in the Cadet division, for freshmen and sophomores in high school.
The girls wrestled at the Columbia Cup in three different types of wrestling: Collegiate or folkstyle, which is seen often in high school; freestyle, seen at the Olympics and also Greco-Roman, which is also seen at the Olympics.
Diaz and Workinger finished third in freestyle, fourth in folkstyle and second in Greco-Roman.
“What I was really impressed with is, they got better as the tournament went on,” Kondo said, with the girls avenging folkstyle losses by beating the same wrestlers in the other styles.
Greco-Roman wrestling is strictly upper-body, and a wrestler can’t grab the opponent’s legs, Kondo said
Freestyle is similar to folkstyle, Kondo said, but it’s easier to score points on the mat.
“You just have to expose (your opponent’s) shoulders, you don’t have to hold them there,” Kondo said.
The experience of wrestling in this type of tournament will make a big difference once school wrestling starts again next winter, Kondo said.
Playing different kinds of wrestling will not mess with their collegiate wrestling technique, Kondo said.
“In freestyle and Greco, the techniques will translate to collegiate style,” Kondo said.Greco will help them develop their upper-body techniques and freestyle will help them improve wrestling on their feet for takedowns, Kondo said.
“And the other thing that is really valuable for these girls is getting more mat time,” he added.
The mat time this offseason has just started for these girls, he said.
“We hope to take the girls to other tournaments like in Centralia, Spokane or the Tri-Cities,” Kondo said, all before the state freestyle competition in May, which they also hope to attend, he added.
The coach and the parents of interested wrestlers will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss traveling, which may also include a trip to west regionals at Pocatello, Idaho in June.
“That one involves wrestlers from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California and Hawaii,” Kondo said, noting that the girls would wrestle all three styles at regionals as well.
He said that Diaz’s teammate Brenda Salgado or Workinger’s fellow middle-schooler Jaselyn Jones might also participate in future tournaments.
“As they get involved, hopefully some of the other Quincy girls get involved,” Kondo said.
For Diaz, Workinger, Salgado and others, all this wrestling will only help once December rolls around, Kondo reiterated. Diaz made the state tournament as an alternate this year. With a full offseason’s worth of experience, she may make it farther this year.
Same for Salgado, who made it to Regionals.
“If she puts that extra time in during the spring and summer, it could be the difference between making it to Regionals and maybe the State tournament. It all depends on how hard she works and how much she learns.
“Shannon, being a seventh-grader, wrestling this spring and summer will put her that much farther ahead when she gets to high school,” Kondo added.

Sebastian Moraga, qvprsports@gmail.com

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