By: Staff Writer Anu Asokan
On February 12 and 13, MSJ competed at 2016 North Coast Section (NCS) Girls’ Wrestling tournament at Albany High School in Albany, CA. Freshmen Flora Chang, Clarissa Liang, Samah Syed, Alice Drozd, and Nikita Dhaliwal competed on Friday. Drozd, Chang, and Dhaliwal qualified to the second day’s rounds. Dhaliwal and Chang were one match from placing in their brackets, and Drozd placed 6th in her weight bracket.
Although this was the first year of wrestling for all five girls, they faced upperclassmen from other schools who had up to six years of wrestling experience. However, the girls were willing to plan and work with each other so that they could all compete at NCS. Each school can send only one girl per weight class to compete at NCS, so Chang lost a few pounds to enter in a different weight class than her teammates.
Chang said, “Every practice, every tournament, every dual meet we did during the season was just practice for this tournament, so the pressure was on, but I was just excited for a chance to test out my abilities.” Regarding the NCS tournament, Drozd said, at first, she felt “really, really terrified because all the girls there had much more experience” than her. However, by the end of the tournament, she said, “I’m so happy that I got a chance to meet so many new people that I will wrestle [with] in the next three years.”
The girls reported feeling really happy with the results and excited to compete in the future. Syed said, “Even though I did not place this NCS it is just a reminder to me that I need to work harder next season and come back next year with the intentions that I will place top three in NCS and make it to states.” That desire to succeed at NCS and qualify to the State tournament was shared by her teammates. Chang said, “As most people know, our school’s mini-gym has a wrestling wall of fame, filled with pictures of high school wrestlers who placed in NCS. My dream is to someday make it onto that wall and help inspire future generations of girl wrestlers.”
Photos Courtesy of Flora Chang