Mukilteo Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By David Pan 

Kamiak junior standout ready for new challenges | Wrestling

 

December 12, 2018



Kamiak’s Diana Cantini is embracing new challenges.

Cantini won a regional title and brought home a seventh-place medal in the 105-pound division at the state girls wrestling championships last season.

This year Cantini is moving up a weight class to 110 and as a result she worked on strength training. The Kamiak junior spent a little more time in the weight room.

“I wanted to focus on building muscle because that’s important,” Cantini said. “I can’t be 105 anymore. I’m a little heavy for 105, so I’ll have to do 110 this year. I think I’m strong at 110. I’m not if I cut down to 105.”

Cantini is gearing up for what she hopes will be her third trip to the state meet. As a freshman, Cantini competed in the 100 division, winning one of three matches.

“The second time around I had more of a goal in mind,” Cantini said. “I wanted to place. I was able to train for that. … This season obviously I want to do better than last year. I was thinking top 5 at state.”

Cantini likely will face some stiff competition in her weight class, but Kamiak girls coach John Baldwin expects her to rise to the challenge.

“She definitely is going to place at state,” Baldwin predicted. “Her weight class is really stacked.”

Another welcome change for Cantini and her female teammates is that the Mukilteo School District decided to fund separate girls wrestling teams at Kamiak and Mariner. Both teams hired head coaches and are separate from the boys program, though wrestlers often train together.

Kamiak has nine turn out for the girls team, the highest number in school history.

“I’m really excited,” Cantini said of the increasing numbers. “We have some freshmen from the middle schools and then some girls that are trying it out.”

Even before the Knights knew they would have a separate girls team, Cantini was selected as one of the captains for the entire program. Candidates for captain have to apply for the position and their qualifications are reviewed by the coaches, who then conduct interviews.

Kamiak boys coach Bryan Stelling, who has worked with Cantini since her freshman year, sees someone who continues to grow both as an athlete and as a person.

“She has a lot of confidence this year,” he said. “I think that’s going to be the biggest difference this year. ”

 

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