Sunnyside Governing Board honors U20 World Championships silver-medalist Audrey Jimenez

Sunnyside junior wrestler Audrey Jimenez is congratulated by former Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board member Robert Jaramillo (who is rejoining the board in January) (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside junior Audrey Jimenez, back home after recently earning the silver medal in the U20 World Championships, was honored Tuesday night with a recognition by Sunnyside Unified School District superintendent Jose Gastelum and the Governing Board.

Jimenez, 16, advanced last Thursday to the title match of the World Championships in the 50 kg (110 pounds) weight class at Sofia, Bulgaria. She was defeated Japan’s Umi Ito, three years her elder, 10-0. Ito was the 2017 U17 World Champion.

Jimenez, who is graduating from Sunnyside in three years in order to concentrate on training for the 2024 Paris Olympics, won the U17 bronze medal last year in the World Championships.

“I learned a lot from the experience, being on the mat again and wrestling the top girls,” Jimenez said from the Sunnyside Unified School District headquarters. “Being able to compete against Japan, they’re No. 1 for girls (Ito). I’m grateful.”

Wrestling against the older Ito was a challenge Jimenez will grow from.

“I was super nervous before the match,” Jimenez said. “I feel like if I controlled the nerves more, I would be able to wrestle better. Just being able to wrestle her style and get a feel for the way they wrestle, I’m really grateful.”

Jimenez is next slated to compete in another world championship event in Belgrade, Serbia from Sept. 12-14.

She will return from that competition and prepare for Sunnyside’s season. She ended last school year the No. 1-ranked female wrestler in the nation at 106 pounds, as rated by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.


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.

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