Lady Jack wrestlers kick it up a notch at Newport Invitational
The Lady Jacks wrestling team took first place at the Newport Invitational tournament on Dec. 15, with Cynthia Diaz and Shannon “Ducky” Workinger winning their respective brackets.
“The girls just went out there and crushed it,” head coach Devan Silva said of his team.
At 155 lbs., Workinger pinned East Valley-Spokane’s Emma Todhunter in the first round of the tourney, pinned Serena Jewell of Moses Lake in the second round of the tourney, outpointed Kiona-Benton’s Maloree Calzadillas 8-1 to advance to the finals, and outpointed Amber Glover from Chewelah’s Jenkins High School 3-1 to win first place.
At 120 lbs., Diaz earned a first round bye, then defeated Cora Diel of Tonasket 2-0 to advance to the semifinals, then defeated Camber Moad of Cheney 9-0 to advance to the finals and then pinned Riane Jones of Colfax to win first place.
Diaz said she is wrestling with a lot less pressure this year, trying to enjoy her last year more. So far, it’s working, having starred in two tournaments (at Warden and at Newport) despite a late start to her season due to not having enough practices.
“It feels like there’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” compared to last year, Diaz said. Still, she didn’t seek to win at Newport.
“My goal was to place top three; that was my goal at Warden, too,” she said.
Diaz won both. She said she felt shocked when she won at Newport, and the team was shocked when it took first place, too.
“We have a young team, as you know,” Diaz said. “Going against wrestling teams with more experience, (being) a small team from Quincy where half the team is freshmen, and we took first, that’s crazy.”
In addition to Workinger and Diaz, veteran Brenda Salgado took third at 170 lbs.
Salgado pinned Lilly Elam of West Valley-Spokane in the first round of the tourney, then pinned Rachel Throckmorton of East Valley-Spokane in the second round. Then she pinned teammate Brianna Cordova in the third round, before losing to Avery Ackerman of Deer Park and Allie Eastridge of Okanogan, both by pin.
Xochitl Tafoya also finished third at 105 lbs., losing to Rosary Rodriguez of Moses Lake in the first round, 12-2, then losing to Cailee Denison of Tonasket in the second round and defeating teammate Leslie Carrillo by forfeit in the third round.
Carrillo finished fourth, losing to Rodriguez and Denison by pin and to Tafoya by forfeit.
Gloria Ramirez finished fourth at 115 lbs., losing to Kristen Erickson of Chewelah’s Jenkins, 7-1, to Missy Martinez of Tonasket 8-0, and defeating Savannah Bones of Tonasket by pin. In her last match of the day, she lost 3-1 to Mead’s Kelsey Loeun.
Newcomer Juanna Giron finished fourth at 155 lbs., defeating Okanogan’s Vanessa Cardenas by pin and Rebekah Koolstra of Nine Mile Falls’ Lakeside.
She then lost to Glover by pin, beat Okanogan’s Jasmine Medina 4-2, and lost by pin to Calzadillas, who finished third.
“She’s gonna be a good wrestler,” Silva said of Giron. “She’s a freshman, but it’s (absurd) how much potential she has and how far she can go in this sport. She has a lot of natural wrestling talent.”
Sofia Ramirez finished fourth at 130 lbs., losing by pin to Northwest Christian’s Callista Waterbly and to Emerald Smoger of Wilbur-Creston by pin. Then, she defeated Lexi Hagins of Kiona-Benton by pin and Giselle Cervantes of Moses Lake by pin.
Another first-timer, Cordova finished fourth at 170 lbs., losing to Okanogan’s Eastridge by pin, defeating West Valley’s Elam by pin, losing to Salgado by pin, defeating Throgmorton by pin and losing to Avery Ackerman of Deer Park by pin.
“She’s a remarkable athlete,” Devan Silva said of Cordova.
The girls fought past fatigue and showed plenty of conditioning to make it a contest even in their fifth matches of the day, the limit as per WIAA regulations.
“The most important thing about last weekend is, regardless of who we wrestled is how we wrestled,” Silva said. “The level they wrestled at last Saturday was an entirely different level. The improvement was phenomenal.”
Next up, the team travels to Columbia-Burbank for a tournament.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org