The Grizzly Claw

Central’s first-ever girls’ wrestling team competes

Ivanna+Podgorscak%2C+Belia+Ortiz%2C+Gabriela+Ruacho%2C+Gabriella+Martinez%2C+and+Victoria+Perez+make+up+Central%27s+first+girls+wrestling+team.+
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Central’s first-ever girls’ wrestling team competes

Ivanna Podgorscak, Belia Ortiz, Gabriela Ruacho, Gabriella Martinez, and Victoria Perez make up Central's first girls wrestling team.

Ivanna Podgorscak, Belia Ortiz, Gabriela Ruacho, Gabriella Martinez, and Victoria Perez make up Central's first girls wrestling team.

Photo By Damaris Valdez

Ivanna Podgorscak, Belia Ortiz, Gabriela Ruacho, Gabriella Martinez, and Victoria Perez make up Central's first girls wrestling team.

Photo By Damaris Valdez

Photo By Damaris Valdez

Ivanna Podgorscak, Belia Ortiz, Gabriela Ruacho, Gabriella Martinez, and Victoria Perez make up Central's first girls wrestling team.

Tahriq Sharp, Staff Writer

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The Grizzly girl’s wrestling team is in the midst of their very first season in Central’s history. Though female athletes have participated before, this is the first year they had the numbers to form a competitive team.

There are five girls who have made the cut this year: Gabriella Martinez, Victoria Perez, Gabriela Raucho, Belia Ortiz and Ivanna Podgorscak and they are coached by Marcus Ponce who is proud to be a part of this landmark development. ¨These five girls have had such an impact in terms of spirit and impacting other girls to potentially come out next year and compete. We expect a lot from these them, and they work hard to get better every day,” Coach Ponce stated.

These athletes are pushing the boundaries of wrestling by stepping onto the mat, but they are also winning matches. Considering the fact that there are few female wrestlers at other schools, they can lose competitive opportunities if their opponents fail to show up to matches, but they simply see it as part of forging their way into an arena that has been dominated by male athletes for decades.

So far, they are going strong with some already placing into matches at their tournaments. Senior Ivanna Podgorcak placed first at the Westside Invitational in Firebaugh, CA and teammate junior Gabriella Martinez also placed third. Martinez stated, “We are looking forward to a great season, and since there are so few of us girls, we have grown very close. We all have set the bar high for what we plan to achieve. We just need to work hard, and take the right steps to get there.¨

Their first duel was on January, 10th against Buchanan and their second match took place on January 24th against Clovis North.

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Central’s first-ever girls’ wrestling team competes