As the wrestling season nears a conclusion, the Woodland Park lady grapplers have taken a commanding lead role, showing amazing signs of improvement.
For one, the team has more than doubled in size from last year, as this season there have been 10 girls on the mats. This compares with four previously.
Plus, the team sports for the first time two female senior grapplers that have been wrestling for their entire high school career. The two seniors, Arial Johns and Trinity Diamond, have both won several key matches and could become contenders for the state title.
According to the team’s coach, Dustin Rodriguez, Diamond is currently ranked number three statewide. And, Johns is close to being ranked in the top five.
He said that all of the ladies have won some good matches this year, but the majority of the girls on the team are wrestling for their first year. “We did some pretty big tournaments this year,” Rodriguez said. “We have been in the top ten in every tournament we have been to so far this year.”
In a tournament in Greeley, ranked as probably the biggest in the state, according to the coach, the team placed ninth out of 55 teams. In addition, they have placed in the top five in a few important tournaments.
The coach said that the team is proud of their accomplishments in tournaments, since they don’t have a full team, unlike many grappler squads they compete against. Despite these obstacles, Rodriguez said he is optimistic that the team will have three or four wrestlers qualify for the state championship this year.
Rodriquez said that he hopes that he will get at least two wrestlers to take the top award podium (finishing in the top three) at the state championship. “I think that right now one of the biggest compliments to our team growing and being successful right now is the continuity the team has within itself,” the coach explained. “Last year we struggled with that a little. We have a good leader on the team in Trinity Diamond. She holds girls pretty accountable. We have a good dynamic in the room, everyone gets along.”
Diamond has already signed on to wrestle at the college level in Hastings College in Nebraska. She was Woodland Park’s first female state qualifying wrestler.
Johns qualified for the Colorado Women’s National Team this year. She travelled to Fargo, ND last summer with the team to represent the state on the national level.