Sunnyside High School junior Audrey Jimenez’s first experience with international Senior-level competition was a successful one.
Jimenez, a 2022 Junior World silver medalist and 2021 Junior World bronze-medal winner, earned her first Senior-level international medal on Saturday at Nice, France, in the 2023 Grand Prix de France Henri Deglane at Nice, France.
She’s returning to Tucson with a silver medal after going 3-1 in matches in which she outscored wrestlers 36-11 at least four years her senior.
Jimenez, only 17, competed against Senior-level wrestlers 21 years and older.
She hopes to return to France next summer to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The results this weekend for Jimenez, representing Team USA out of the Sunkist Kids organization, in the 50 kg (110 pounds) weight class:
Round of 16: 10-0 over Juliette Lescure, France
Quarterfinals: 11-2 over Katie Dutchak, Canada
Semifinals: 13-2 over Natalia Walczak, Poland
Finals: 7-2 loss to Christianah Ogunsanya, Nigeria
Ogunsanya, 21, has been involved in international competition since 2018, when Jimenez was in the sixth grade.
Jimenez is slated to graduate this school year after only three years at Sunnyside.
She is graduating early to give her more time to train for the 2024 Paris Olympics. She plans to attend an Ivy League school in 2023-24.
She is coming off winning the 106-pound competition against boys in the Mile High Challenge in Prescott on New Year’s Eve, Peoria Tournament of Champions on Jan. 7 and Flowing Wells Invitational last weekend. She earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors in each event.
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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.