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By David Pan 

Kamiak senior preparing to defend state crown | Wrestling

 

December 13, 2017



Kamiak’s Ally de la Cruz is excited to get back to work.

The Knights’ first and only state wrestling champion is coming off an extended break from the mat.

The last time de la Cruz had wrestled before the start of practices last month was during the 4A finals in February at the Tacoma Dome.

The Kamiak senior said that usually she attends a camp or two during the summer but was busy traveling with her family.

“I definitely don’t feel as strong in my cardio,” de la Cruz said. “So that’s something I need to push harder on.”

The defending 155-pound girls champion also said she will continue to focus on improving her technique.

“I need to really, really work hard at it,” she said.

At last week’s Everett Scramble, de la Cruz suffered her first loss to a female opponent since her sophomore year, a 1-0 decision to Glacier Peak’s Kiley Hubby at 170.

The lack of her conditioning played a role in the loss, de la Cruz said.

“I definitely didn’t feel like I wrestled my best,” she said. “I came out feeling like I lost. I didn’t come out feeling like I won. My cardio was not where I need it to be.”

Hubby finished third at 140 at last season’s state tournament.

“She’s a year-round wrestler,” de la Cruz said. “She’s pretty good. I’ve never wrestled freestyle or year-round. It’s always good for me to get a match like that.”

Usually, de la Cruz said she is able to pull out victories with her conditioning.

“If it’s a tight match or a close match, I feel like when it comes to the third round, I can usually will myself and push that extra 10 percent off of that 100 percent,” she said. “My cardio can usually outlast people. It just wasn’t the case Wednesday (against Hubby).”

Kamiak coach Bryan Stelling said that de la Cruz is handling the loss well.

“She just realizes she’s going to have to really work hard this year,” Stelling said. “To win a championship you really have to work hard. You have to constantly be improving your game. … She’s actually had some good wins this year.”

At the Mariner Holiday Tournament, de la Cruz won the 154-159 junior varsity, recording three straight pins against male opponents.

“She’s always working on her technique,” Stelling said. “She’s one of our leaders. She doesn’t take any shortcuts. She’s a pretty good mentor to the rest of the team.”

Right now, de la Cruz is at 160. She could go down to 155 or move up to 170. If she goes up to 170, de la Cruz said she’ll need to bulk up since 10 pounds is a lot of weight.

Regardless of which weight class she settles on, de la Cruz is preparing to up her workload.

“I need to do the extra runs, the extra lifts, the extra time,” she said. “That’s how you get where you want to be. How you get to the top is putting in the extra time.”

 

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