Sunnyside’s storied wrestling program added another historic chapter in March when Audrey Jimenez became the first female from Sunnyside — and the city of Tucson — to win a girls wrestling state title.
Jimenez, a freshman in 2020-21, won by fall in 3:53 over Valley Vista’s Brianna Reyes to claim the 113-pound girls wrestling state title at Gilbert Mesquite High School.
“It’s a great accomplishment for me and others,” Jimenez said. “Hopefully this will be the start of growing girls wrestling at Sunnyside. I’m hoping that more girls follow in my footsteps.”
For all of her achievements in 2021, Jimenez is the AllSportsTucson.com High School Athlete of the Year.
Two months after winning the state title, Jimenez earned the 2021 United World Wrestling (UWW) U.S. cadet women’s freestyle national championship at 49 kilograms (108 pounds) at Irving, Texas.
Jimenez beat Faith Cole of St. Louis in a best-of-three series by winning the first two matches with scores of 5-0 and 6-0. She also earned the Outstanding Wrestler award for the entire cadet women’s freestyle competition. None of the wrestlers scored a point against her in the competition. In the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, she won by technical fall scores of 10-0.
“I felt really good throughout my matches,” Jimenez commented. “I focused on scoring with good technique and pushing the pace early in the match. I’m proud of my performance and my effort. Now back to work and preparing for worlds.”
Jimenez returned to Tucson from the 2021 Cadet World Championships at Hungary, Budapest, with a bronze medal in the 49 kg (108-pound) weight class after her technical fall win July 22 over Romania’s Delia Voiculescu.
Jimenez defeated Voiculescu in 1:45 after generating a leg lace and operating two turns to reach the 10-0 victory. Jimenez earned her second international medal — she won the U15 gold in the 2019 Pan Am Games — after rebounding from an 8-6 loss in the semifinals to Svenja Jungo of Switzerland.
She made more history on Sept. 17 beating fellow standout Paige Morales in the 106-pound competition of FloWrestling’s first all-girls card of its Who’s Number One competition at Dallas.
The 10-bout card featured three No. 1 vs. No. 2 matches, with the main event featuring a pair of No. 1-ranked wrestlers from different weight classes. The final No. 1 vs. No. 2 competition was between Jimenez against Morales (a winner this summer at the Fargo, N.D., Championships).
Jimenez, seeded No. 1, was tied at 9 with Morales, of Clovis, Calif., with 54 seconds left in the match. Morales’ attempted throw was blocked by Jimenez, who mounted Morales and locked the pin.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.