Freshman wrestler wins bi-district title for Quincy
Freshman Shannon Workinger took first place at bi-districts on Feb. 2 at East Wenatchee’s Eastmont High School, capping a stout afternoon of wrestling for the Lady Jacks.
The girls’ wrestling team finished in third place overall among more than 30 teams and four of its wrestlers earned tickets to regionals.
“Third out of 35 is not too shabby,” said head coach Devan Silva, who saw all of his eight wrestlers at districts advance to the second day of competition at bi-districts. From there, Xochitl Tafoya, Cynthia Diaz, Brenda Salgado and Workinger moved on to this weekend’s regional tourney in Othello.
“It just comes from them doing stuff right, getting over their nerves and going out there to compete,” Silva said when asked about the roots of his team’s success at districts.
Nobody in green-and-gold did better than Workinger, who stunned several people winning districts as a freshman.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for a freshman to win districts,” he said. “A lot of that is due to her finally being at the right weight class.”
Throughout the season, Workinger wrestled at 155 lbs., then at 145 lbs, now she’s wrestling at 140 lbs., and she matches up better with the wrestlers at that category, he said.
Workinger had a first-round bye, and followed it by defeating hometown girl Jewel Sinclair of Eastmont, by second-period pin. Workinger then pinned Ida Sue Dick of Lake Roosevelt in the third period and then bested Rashann Olsen of Ephrata in the finals via first-period pin.
After a tough loss to start her second day. Diaz came back to qualify for regionals with a string of wins at 110 lbs..
Diaz also had a first-round bye and followed it by defeating Surrey Swindler of Warden by first-period pin. She then lost to Clarkston’s Caila Rice, 12-6, dropping into the consolation bracket.
Diaz then went on a tear, pinning teammate Gloria Ramirez in the second period, Tonasket’s Missy Martinez in the third period, and then outpointing Joshua-Lynn Jager of Republic-Curlew, 4-3.
In the match for third place, Diaz had her revenge on Rice, defeating her 7-4.
“Cynthia did one of the hardest things to do in wrestling, which is to lose a match and then wrestle your way all the way back,” Silva said. The fact that she beat the girl she had lost to did not go unnoticed, Silva said.
“That is a testament to an incredible amount of mental toughness,” Silva said.
Salgado finished in third place at 170 lbs., defeating a wrestler she had lost to twice this season.
“To show that you have improved more than they were, beating her for the third-and-fourth-place match,” Silva said. “That’s a good win for her.”
Salgado first pinned Kimberly Rangel of Mattawa’s Wahluke in the first period, before losing to Sierra Mason of Newport, via third-period pin.
Salgado then defeated Kaitlyn Goodman 3-2 in the match for third place.
Tafoya faced a tricky bracket. On head-to-head matchups, Tafoya had a better record than the second seed but worse than the third seed, so she ended up as the fourth seed.
“She’s a tough little wrestler,” Silva said of Tafoya.
She proved it by pinning Othello’s Virginia Pineda in the third period, and bouncing back from a loss to Warden’s Aaliyah Escamila to beat Cassandra Tapia of Wenatchee and Pineda again.
Next up, the team travels to Othello for regionals.
“Win two and you move on to State,” Silva said. “You’re telling me that out of eight people in a bracket, there’s not two of them that you can beat? I think you’re lying.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org