Sierra High graduate Alexa Garcia won the 191-pound championship Saturday in the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Wrestling Invitational at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Not only did Garcia win, she dominated. Seeded No. 2, the Southwestern Oregon Community College sophomore won her first three bouts by first-round pin, setting up a finals showdown with last year’s 170-pound champion, Yarissa Gallo of Iowa Western Community College.
The two went the distance, but it was not even close with Garcia claiming the gold medal, 8-1.
“I’m thankful for everyone who supports me,” Garcia said. “I want to say that God has been by my side throughout this journey that hasn’t ended yet and I’m thankful for that.
“I want to make my people – who are my coaches, family, and friends – proud. They mean the whole world to me, and that motivates me to succeed.”
Garcia hopes to parlay this year’s 22-0 record into continuing her wrestling career at a four-year college, and she is exploring her options.
Garcia did not begin her athletic career at Sierra in the wrestling room; she was on the football team her freshman year as a linebacker and running back.
“She came to us from the football team her freshman year,” Sierra wrestling coach Alex Nuanez said. “I know her mom was on the Judo Mexico wrestling team, and Alexa had some fight in her to start. But her aggressiveness with wrestling is what set her apart and made her as good as she is today.
“She took a year off after high school and then decided to give college a try.”
Garcia wrestled four years for Nuanez, qualifying for the California State Girls Championships three times and bringing home medals for third and sixth place.