The Redondo Union girls’ wrestling team got what they wanted with a 42-36 victory over Mira Costa in the first official dual meet between the two schools and a supportive crowd was on hand to witness it.
The match was tied three times early on, but Redondo Union held a six-point lead at the midway point and never trailed as it held on for the victory.
Girls wrestling as a sport is exploding at the state level and Mira Costa has been one of those leading the way the past few years as Redondo Union plays catchup.
“Rick (Gurrola) is doing a great job there,” said Mira Costa girls’ wrestling head coach Jimmy Chaney.
Getting the victory was big for this new program, which is making a big breakthrough this year.
“It felt great,” said Redondo Union’s best wrestler, Hanna “Montana” Rigby, who is a senior and participated in her final home dual meet. “It’s a start. This is where Redondo girls start and we’re going to get way better in the future and I’m just proud of us that we’ve gone this far. They’re pretty good.”
The Redondo Union team was excited for the meet.
Redondo Union’s Corrine McGee, who usually wrestles at 103 won at 108 by forfeit.
“I was super excited,” McGee said. “I had butterflies in my stomach the whole day, but I was like, ‘Push them aside and I’m just going to wrestle and have fun.’ It is the last meet of the year.”
“Redondo has a good girls’ team as well, so it should be a close match,” said Chaney before the match.
However, he and the Mira Costa team were a bit at a disadvantage. The previous tournament the coach and five wrestlers got sick. Those five did not wrestle against Redondo Union and nobody knows what the score would have been had they been there.
“Our girls team is coming off winning the Brea Olinda tournament the previous Saturday,” Chaney said. “We had eight girls finish in the top three.”
Chaney knew Redondo Union head coach Rick Gurrola, who is credited with helping the Mira Costa girls program and is now in charge of the boys and girls at Redondo Union, has them headed in the right direction.
There was no girls team at Redondo Union three years ago and now they are one of the biggest in the area.
In the end, the match turned out in Redondo Union’s favor, but it could have been even closer.
So round one goes to Redondo Union and says a lot about Gurrola who has put together quite a powerhouse in just his second year.
“Mira Costa is a huge rival so I’m glad we got the win,” said Redondo Union’s Teyah Guitierrez.
She picked up Redondo Union’s first win on the mat at 121 lbs.
“It felt really good because obviously Mira Costa is our rival so obviously we want to try our best and put in a big effort and it is really good that I got a pin,” Guitierrez said.
She is doing something now that she never expected.
Rigby did not get a chance to wrestle, she won her weight class by forfeit and an important six points towards the win.
“It was a letdown but it is also wrestling,” Rigby said. “It is my last home meet so I was kind of excited. I mean, at least we still got the six points and its part of our team winning. It’s both.”
Sara Burge of Mira Costa won the first weight class of the meet, after two forfeits to start it. She won by pin at 111.
“It was an adrenaline rush,” Burge said. “Before I was nervous like I always am, but I pushed to move up a weight class because it’s my third time meeting the same girl and I knew I could beat her again.”
Both teams are no doubt waiting for another chance and what will hopefully be a growing rivalry on the mat between the two girls teams.
“We only lost two matches (in the end),” said Mira Costa’s best wrestler Allysa Nocum, who finished 12th at CIF-State last year and has trained under Gurrola. “We still showed our best and we were close.”