USA Wrestling, FloWrestling and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum have rated Sunnyside Class of 2024 standout Audrey Jimenez (106 pounds) as the nation’s No. 1 pound-for-pound female wrestler in May for grades 8-12 in the 2022-23.
She has held that ranking throughout the school year.
The latest ranking reflects the results of the major post-season competitions held since the end of the regular high school season.
Two major USA Wrestling events held considerable weight – the USA Wrestling Women’s National Championships in Spokane, Wash. in early April, as well as the Girls National High School Recruiting Showcase in Las Vegas, Nev. in late April. Another big event that had impact was the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va., in late March.
Jimenez went 5-0 in the 110-pound class without allowing a point to earn the U20 women’s national championship at Spokane.
She did not compete in the National High School Recruiting Showcase in Las Vegas, but she defied the odds at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Las Vegas on April 29 in multiple ways to earn the 50 kg championship. The 18-year-old’s remarkable achievement:
— Defeated top-seeded veteran Alyssa Lampe, who is 17 years older than her at 35, by a 10-10 decision (making a last-second takedown) on Saturday.
— Overcame an 8-0 deficit against Lampe to emerge victorious.
— Seeded No. 3, Jimenez won in the semifinals Friday by technical fall over No. 2 Erin Golston (13-2, 4:56). Golston is 30 years old and has been wrestling in national and world wrestling events the last 15 years.
Jimenez’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open championship guarantees her a spot in Final X, an annual series of wrestling events that determine the US Senior World/Olympic Team Members at each weight class.
Jimenez will take part in the Final X on June 10 at Newark, N.J., where she will compete against 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World medalist Sarah Hildebrandt. They will compete for the 50 kg spot on the 2023 U.S. World Team in women’s freestyle wrestling.
NATIONAL GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL POUND-FOR-POUND RANKINGS
Developed by USA Wrestling, Flowrestling and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
1. Audrey Jimenez, junior, Sunnyside High School (Rated No. 1 at 106)
2. Shelby Moore, senior, Buckley, Wash., White River High School (No. 1 at 127)
3. Destiny Rodriguez, senior, West Linn, Ore., West Linn High School (No. 1 at 152)
4. Sabrina Nauss, junior, Brighton, Mich., Brighton High School (No. 1 at 180)
5. Jasmine Robinson, junior, Allen, Texas, Allen High School (No. 2 at 152)
1. Audrey Jimenez, junior, Sunnyside High School
2. Anaya Falcon, junior, Yorba Linda, Calif., Walnut High School
3. Paige Morales, senior, Clovis, Calif., Central High School
4. Julianna Ocampo, sophomore, Elhart, Ind., New Haven High School
5. Heather Crull, sophomore, Modoc, Ind., Northeastern High School
Other wrestlers from Southern Arizona nationally ranked:
24. Elizabeth Valenzuela-Smith, eighth grade, Valiant College Prep
27. Adecelli Salaiz Noriega, senior, Bisbee High School
25. Lillian Gradillas-Flores, junior, Mountain View High School
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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.