Sunnyside sophomore Audrey Jimenez, selected the 2021 AllSportsTucson.com Southern Arizona Female Athlete of the Year, is already off to an impressive start in 2022.
Rankings released yesterday by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame place Jimenez No. 1 in the nation in the 106-pound weight class.
Mylei Seigla, a senior at Canyon Del Oro, is ranked No. 12 nationally at 132 pounds.
Here are the top-five rated wrestlers in Jimenez’s class:
1. Audrey Jimenez, Sophomore, Sunnyside High School
2. Paige Morales, Junior, Clovis, Calif., Central High School
3. Nyla Valencia, Senior, Morgan Hill, Calif., Ann Sobrato High School
4. Faith Cole, Senior, Pacific, Mo., Wildwood High School
5. Karlee Brooks, Sophomore, Phoenix Valiant College Prep High School
Jimenez is also rated as the No. 7 wrestler nationally pound-for-pound. Here are those rankings:
1. Kylie Welker, Senior, Waterford, Wis., Union High School at 164 pounds
2. Amit Elor, Concord, Calif., Senior, College Park High School, 152
3. Kennedy Blades, Senior, Broadview, Ill., Wyoming Seminary, 164
4. Katie Gomez, Senior, Van Nuys, Calif., Birmingham High School, 122
5. Korina Blades, Senior, Broadview, Illi., Wyoming Seminary, 138
6. Lillian Freitas, Senior, Modesto, Calif., Wyoming Seminary, 164
7. Audrey Jimenez, Sophomore, Sunnyside High School, 106
Jimenez won the 107 weight-class sectional championship last week and will compete in the state tournament next weekend in Phoenix.
She became the first individual state champion from the Tucson-area as a freshman last 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.
She returned from the 2021 Cadet World Championships at Hungary, Budapest, with a bronze medal in the 49 kg (108-pound) weight class.
Jimenez made more history again 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.
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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.