Workinger excels in summer wrestling season
Quincy High School sophomore-to-be Shannon Workinger just wrapped up perhaps the most exciting summer wrestling season of her young career. She earned seventh place at the United States Marine Corps USA Wrestling 16U Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota, and three first place finishes at the USA Western States Championships in Pocatello, Idaho.
In Idaho, Workinger swept three styles; Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Folkstyle, earning first place in all three. Never competing in a tournament outside of the state before, she now has had success in Idaho and North Dakota. Both tournaments were the hardest she has ever competed in, said Workinger.
Although she did not duplicate the same success in Fargo she did in Pocatello, she recognized the level of competition was much higher on the national stage and greater in numbers. In Idaho, Workinger shared a bracket with about eight other wrestlers; in North Dakota, a bracket of 32.
“In North Dakota, all of them were good,” Workinger said. “Everyone that was there deserved to be there.”
Two other Quincy wrestlers joined Workinger in Idaho; junior Xochitl Tafoya and fellow sophomore Juana Giron. Other competitors in Pocatello were friendly, and she even made friends with a few. However, Fargo was a different story. According to Workinger, many of the other wrestlers would not talk much at all, the completion was very intense.
Just finishing her freshman season in the winter, Workinger’s mother, Jen Gardner, has seen her daughter’s improvement already.
“She’s really come a long way since the end of the high school season,” Gardner said.
Workinger has not lacked help in the training department either, coaches, teammates and even former QHS wrestlers have been by her side and supportive. Salvador Chavarin, a recent graduate of QHS in June and a former wrestler on the boy’s team has stuck around to help train Workinger.
With help from her trainers, Workinger hopes to wrestle in the 145-pound weight class next season. According to Gardner, she has been in the gym almost every morning at 4:30 a.m. working toward that goal. Workinger wrestled in the 140-pound class during her freshman season at QHS before jumping up to the 152-pound weight class in the Idaho and North Dakota competitions.
“It’s really cool to see her conquer the mental things,” Gardner said. “When she does that she can really shine.”
With her summer season coming to a close, Workinger is now focused on her sophomore season with QHS this winter, putting on more muscle and earning a top three finish at state in February 2020. She will face greater competition in her second high school season, but she loves the challenge, said Gardner.
“She’s always been such a hard worker,” said Gardner. “I’m pretty proud of her, and we both hope some little girls see what she has done and choose to push themselves in the same way.”
By Miles King, firstname.lastname@example.org