By JACQUELINE HUERTA
Senior Lorena Egea has been an extremely prominent member of the University High School wrestling team since her sophomore year, when she first joined. On February 10, Egea wrestled at the Southern Section CIF Finals and emerged with a tremendous victory: first place champion at 143 pounds.
Not only is she the two time winner of OC Varsity’s Athlete of the Week, Egea is now the first wrestler in UHS history to win a CIF-SS title for both the Girls and Boys Wrestling team, an accomplishment she and the team both hold with pride. “Going into Masters, I was a little nervous because I was still recovering from my shoulder injury, which had happened three weeks before,” Egea described. “I had high expectations because last year I placed second in the same tournament, so my goal this year was to get first.”
However, she stated that she never actually anticipated such a big win, as each match is hard to predict due to various different factors out of her control. With a fierce goal in mind, she went into the tournament with a positive, confident attitude, stating, “I knew that I had the necessary skills and preparation to win the tournament if I wrestled like I was supposed to, so I just gave it my all in every match.”
Athletic department Coach Kevin Takemura gave a rundown of her pivotal performance at CIF: “Lorena wrestled very well going 5-0 in the tournament with four pins and 1 default forfeit. “She pinned her first three opponents in the first period and the other in the second period of her finals match.” He also highlighted that Egea did not give up any points during any of the matches. Takemura stated that Egea has made a great amount of progress as a wrestler this season, both physically and mentally.
In order to prepare Egea for CIF, they worked on improving her technique in the top and bottom positions of wrestling. Takemura added, “I also think that she has greatly improved her mental toughness which definitely helped her win Masters.” Takemura also mentioned the amount of teamwork involved in helping Lorena reach this level of success, “Her teammates and coaches are there for her everyday in practice and competition to cheer her on and keep her going when there may be some days that are hard.”
Wrestling team captain senior Nathan Ohashi revealed Egea’s training strategy: “To get her ready for state, she’s been in CIF practices with other schools wrestling against CIF boys and girls to keep her in top shape for the coming tournament.”
With the support of her teammates, Egea competed at the Girls Wrestling State Tournament in Visalia, where she placed fourth.