Photo courtesy of Jeric Liam
                                The new girls wrestling team at Renton High School. Left to right: Beanca Medrano, Myranda Moran, Sophia Nguyen, Alexandra Buenbrazo, Jackie Abergo, Tabitha Martinez and Emilee. Not pictured: Anan Afrida, Ghlezian Gonzales, Nyasia Saetern.

Photo courtesy of Jeric Liam The new girls wrestling team at Renton High School. Left to right: Beanca Medrano, Myranda Moran, Sophia Nguyen, Alexandra Buenbrazo, Jackie Abergo, Tabitha Martinez and Emilee. Not pictured: Anan Afrida, Ghlezian Gonzales, Nyasia Saetern.

Girls wrestling joins Renton High

Student athletes rally to bring back sporting option for young women

Wrestling season is starting again, but this year Renton High School practices are a little different and a little bigger.

Senior Tabitha Martinez has been hearing about wrestling her whole life. Her brother is a wrestler, and now a coach at her school, Renton High. She said he wanted her to join, but she never thought she’d make the team. Now she knows why you shouldn’t use the word never.

Martinez is one of 10 girls in the first Renton girl’s wrestling team since the school was opened in 1911.

Jeric Liam, a senior and wrestler at Renton, said he thought of the idea after seeing girls wrestling at Dimmitt Middle School last spring, where he attended class. He heard from the girls they would need to wrestle at a different high school to continue the sport. Then he saw two girls join the Renton wrestling team this year, and figured it was a good time to campaign for a full girls team.

Liam also said it wasn’t just him starting the team, but also the girls who joined and the other students who shared the post.

By posting on social media including Instagram, and having it in the morning high school announcements, he was able to get attention to the sport. He got a lot of dismissive responses at first, but then he got Martinez to help share one of his posts, asking Renton girls if they “wanted to make history.” This is the first girl’s wrestling team since the turn of the century. The Instagram story received about 170 shares. The team needed eight girls to start, but ended up recruiting 10.

Renton Freshman Alexandra Buenbrazo saw the Instagram post and joined with her friend Myranda Moran. She said it felt like the sport was something she could try that was out of character for her. In just the first two weeks of practice, she’s learned a lot. Before this she had participated in cross country.

Martinez said the training has been hard physically and mentally, but she’s been able to push herself and others to their limits while having fun. And she said she keeps herself motivated, and wants to pursue it possibly as far as college. Before this she played soccer, basketball and track at Renton.

She said it’s been great to see girls who haven’t been recognized as athletic before come join the wrestling team. Martinez hopes that girls will push themselves and join the team for themselves.

Martinez’ friend and fellow senior Beanca Medrano joined the team with her. Medrano said she was scared at first: she’s four-foot-nine and wasn’t sure how her softball skills would transfer to wrestling. But the idea of joining felt so empowering, she decided “Why not me?” She said practice has been hard, especially sprints, but she’s pulled through and gone as hard as she could.

“I want to leave something (before I graduate), so it’s great we have a whole team of girls and just like starting the process of that. I guess you could say we made history but like, it feels good,” Medrano said. “I want to show: even I can do it, so why can’t they?”

The team is set, but due to how late they started, they don’t have any tournaments for this season. Some of the players will get exhibition matches and participate in games when they can.

“This could get the ball-rolling for having a girl’s team from now on. The team has fresh eyes, so I hope next year it will keep getting more new girls,” Liam said.

Buenbrazo said it feels like a great opportunity to be a part of the girls wrestling team, and in the future she will continue to try to get some friends to join who are hesitant about the sport due to the strength required. To those students, she encourages them to have a better mindset, try it out and see for themselves.

More in Sports

The Hazen High School Boys Swim and Dive team after the Kentridge Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11. Photo courtesy of Hazen Head Coach Lynn Gerking.
Hazen senior swimmer beats two school records

Hazen Boys Swim and Dive team places 13 overall at Kentridge Invitational

Photos by Yuriy Tsupruk.
Renton High’s win streak ends with Lindbergh win

Renton High School’s boys basketball team ended it’s winning streak when they… Continue reading

Photos by Yuriy Tsupruk.
Hazen varsity basketball takes second win in the season

The Hazen High School varsity basketball team barely defeated Decauter’s varsity team… Continue reading

Lindbergh wrestling brings home two medals

The Lindbergh High School wrestling team competed among over 20 other schools… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Jeric Liam
                                The new girls wrestling team at Renton High School. Left to right: Beanca Medrano, Myranda Moran, Sophia Nguyen, Alexandra Buenbrazo, Jackie Abergo, Tabitha Martinez and Emilee. Not pictured: Anan Afrida, Ghlezian Gonzales, Nyasia Saetern.
Girls wrestling joins Renton High

Student athletes rally to bring back sporting option for young women

Courtesy of Lynn Gerking. Rae Gerking and Nikayla Copenhaver have been friends since playing soccer against each other at six years old. Now they will play together and be roommates at University of Wyoming.
From Pee-Wee to Divison One

Local Renton seniors ready to attend university and play soccer

The Lindbergh Swim and Dive Team.
                                Photo courtesy of The Korve Family.
Lindbergh swim and dive impress at championship

The team took second and are headed to the state championship meet

Hazen High School’s Athlete of the Week – Rae Gerkin

Hazen High School’s Rae Gerking, girls soccer, was chosen as the Renton… Continue reading

Hazen High School’s Athlete of the Week – Kylie Doan

Hazen High School’s Kylie Doan, swimming, was chosen as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Photos by Yuriy Tsupruk.
Lindbergh crushes Foss

Lindbergh High School’s football team swept up the win during its game… Continue reading

Federal Way washes out Hazen in Renton

During a rainy night on Friday, Oct. 18, at Renton Memorial Stadium,… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Victor Yee. The Hazen girls golf team is taking home the championship banner for the first time in its history.
Hazen girls golf wins a banner

Before this season, golf was the only sport in the Hazen high… Continue reading