Central freshman Myah Arrieta claimed her first state title at the girls wrestling state tournament in early February. She dominated the 118-pound weight class to become the first ever girls state champ from the Western Slope.
"When I got to school all the wrestling boys were cheering me on and that's when I realized it was a big deal," Arrieta said. "It made me feel good about myself."
For those that know Arrieta, the title is well deserved.
"It doesn't surprise me she won a state title," Central Wrestling Head Coach Laurence Gurule said. "What was a pleasant surprise was that 20 of her 30 wins were against boys, so that was really nice to see.
"With her being a girl and younger and with her being a freshman it's really good," Arrieta's teammate Luke Pleasant said. "She puts up a lot of work against me and other kids in the room and I think she's really amazing," the sophomore added.
Even though the season's over for Arrieta, the work never stops. Gurule said she puts in plenty of effort in the offseason.
"I talked to her about getting stronger in her upper body and I would get videos from her lifting weights. I even got a video of her rowing a boat just to work on her upper body and that has immensely helped her this year."
Pleasant has known Arrieta since wrestling with the Grand Junction Tigers Paws as a kid. Even though Arrieta plays softball for Central too, he said he's never seen her dedicate herself to any sports as much as wrestling. Arrieta, though, may not consider the offseason training as "work," as the state title is just the beginning of what she hopes to be a long career.
"I just love the sport, I've always loved it," Arrieta said. "I have bigger goals, maybe wrestling for an Olympic team, so I just want to keep trying my best."
Arrieta wasn't the only girl to represent the Western Slope at the state tournament. Grand Junction's Kaylee Lacey finished second in the 127-pound classification.
The boys tournament starts on Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver and concludes on Saturday.