Sunnyside freshman Audrey Jimenez, who won the first girls state high school wrestling title in Tucson history in March, succeeded at a grander scale Saturday earning 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 this weekend. In the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, she won by technical fall scores of 10-0.
“I felt really good throughout my matches (Saturday),” 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.”
The victory qualifies Jimenez for the USA Cadet World Team. She will wrestle in Budapest, Hungary, on July 19-25, representing Team USA at the UWW Cadet World Championships.
“Representing Team USA is an honor,” Jimenez said. “It’s been a goal of mine ever since I started wrestling and it feels amazing to finally accomplish making the team.
“I hope to bring home a gold medal for USA and Sunnyside.”
Jimenez is building on her success at the national and international level.
She won a gold medal for her weight class in the U15 Pan American women’s freestyle championships in Panama in 2019. To get that far, she competed in USA Wrestling national qualifying events.
She also traveled to Nebraska in January to wrestle in a FloWrestling mega-card.
The hardware she earned at Irving, Texas, on Saturday (photos supplied by father Billy Jimenez):
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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 and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.