Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 1:50 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 
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Wrestling

Al’Asha Aparicio is Santa Barbara High’s First CIF Girls Wrestling Qualifier

Sophomore has taken to the sport with help of coach Adrian Macias and training partner Josue Vallecillo

Al’Asha Aparicio wrestles for coach Adrian Macias at Santa Barbara High. He’ll be taking her to the CIF Girls Wrestling Championships this weekend. Click to view larger
Al’Asha Aparicio wrestles for coach Adrian Macias at Santa Barbara High. He’ll be taking her to the CIF Girls Wrestling Championships this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Al’Asha Aparicio is making athletic history at Santa Barbara High.

Al’Asha Aparicio competes against a Santa   Paula wrestler in a recent competition. She wrestles in the 106-pound weight class. Click to view larger
Al’Asha Aparicio competes against a Santa   Paula wrestler in a recent competition. She wrestles in the 106-pound weight class. (Courtesy photo)

The sophomore isn’t scoring goals for the soccer or water polo teams, or knocking down three-pointers for the basketball team.

She is wrestling.

Aparicio will be competing at the CIF-Southern Section Girls Wrestling Championships on Friday and Saturday at Roosevelt High in Eastvale.

She is Santa Barbara’s first girls wrestler to compete in a CIF Championship. She qualified by finishing fifth in the 106-pound weight class at last week’s Northern Regional at Pioneer Valley High in Santa Maria.

Aparicio joined the Dons wrestling team last year as a freshman.

“I decided to try wrestling because I wanted to be stronger… and I wanted to know how to beat up my older brother,” she cracked.

She likes how the sport “pushes my limits and gets me out of my comfort zone. It makes feel like I can overcome whatever life throws at me. And, I definitely love getting my hand raised at the end of the match.”

Aparicio's hand was raised as the victor in three matches a last weekend’s regional. 

She considers as "all right. I would’ve liked to beat more guys than I  did, but I got a lot experience when I went to the girls tournaments. I wrestled both boys and girls in my weight class at all levels of experience.”

She trains with one of Santa Barbara’s top varsity wrestlers, Josue Vallecillo. 

“He’s taught me a lot and I am grateful to him,” she said. 

She was exposed to sport by two older brothers who wrestled in high school.

So what do her parents think about her getting on the mat and wrestling against boys and girls?

“My parents are happy I’m staying out of trouble," she said. "They’ve always been my No. 1 fans and support whatever decisions I make.”

She credits Dons coach Adrian Macias with helping her develop as a student athlete.

“He has helped me grow mentally and physically. He's kept an eye on me throughout the season and has been pushing me, so that I'm the best I can be,” she said. “I am forever thankful for him and his dedication to building the wrestling program.

"And growing a girls program as well.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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