By Eric Bartl
Oceanside CA— El Camino High School Junior Madlyne Navarro won 3rd place in California’s state wrestling championships, Saturday, Feb. 24, in Visalia. http://www.cifstate.org/sports/girls_wrestling/gwr_champ_info
Two weeks earlier she dominated the San Diego region in her weight class winning 1st place at the CIF sectional tournament. See YouTube videoHere
It was the first time the athlete from Oceanside qualified for the state tournament and she became the first wrestler from El Camino to place in state in over 33 years.
Navarro received a bye in Round 1. In round 2 she pinned Lillian McCoy of north coastal Casa Grande high school with 3:16 on the clock. She moved on to the quarter-finals pinning Brittany Milligan of Covina. She lost to the eventual state champion Tavi Heidelberg of Sacramento in the semi-finals. After pinning McCoy again, Navarro faced Tagivale Vaifale of Pacheco high school in the finals. She pinned her in the final round of the match and won 3rd place in state.
“It feels good. Now I know what it’s like. Now I know what I need to do to win first place next year,” said Navarro. She is glad she became a wrestler and made it to this point. Thinking back to sixth grade when she was first drawn to the sport of wrestling, she realized she almost quit and this accomplishment almost didn’t happen.
She said she chose this sport because she wanted to have strength and self-confidence and saw wrestling as something that could give that to her. But when she realized how much hard work was required, especially all the conditioning wrestlers go through in practice, she wanted to give up. “The reason I stayed in wrestling was because of the encouragement Coach Moody gave me in middle school,” she explained. She said she continues to get plenty of support from her family, her team, her high school coaches, and the entire wrestling community.
Navarro’s goals are to win first place in state next year, then to continue wrestling in college. Her dream is to get a college scholarship.
She lit up when asked about the highlight of her wrestling season. Earlier this season she had the thrill of pinning a girl in only 8 seconds after using a throw move she had just learned.
Her favorite move is the power half nelson. The power half can be done when you are on top of an opponent and you thread one hand under their arm and onto the back of their head. Then you place your other hand on top of the hand already on their head and push down forcing the opponent to rotate to their back where they can be pinned. “It’s a powerful move and that’s what I like about wrestling, it’s about girl power for me,” she said.
Navarro finished this season with a record of 16-1 against girls and 4-3 against guys. She occasionally joins her high school wrestling team (who are almost all guys) in dual team meets, but mostly wrestles in tournaments with girls. The girls state-sponsored wrestling championships in California started in 2011. California is one a few states that has this opportunity for girls. Texas does as well and prohibits boys and girls from crossing over into each other’s competitions. Girls in California can participate in either.
The other seven state placers from San Diego County are:
- Destiny Lyng of Helix Charter School
- Jasmine Plascencia of Hilltop High
- Phonisha Pruitt of Lincoln High
- Maddie Konopka of La Costa Canyon High
- Emily Velazquez of San Pasqual High
- Sonia Baniqued of Mar Vista
- Savannah Kiddoo of Ramona High.
The California boys state wrestling championships will take place in Bakersfield March 2-3.
About the author
Eric Bartl wrestled in Chicago Public schools, works in San Diego as a substitute teacher and writes as a stringer for the San Diego Reader.