On Feb. 4 and 5 the West Henderson High School women’s wrestling team traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina where they competed at RISE Indoor Sports Complex at the state level. Seniors Tatiana Encinas and Mickey Allen both placed in their weight classes, Encinas placed third at 165 and Allen placed third at 126.  

Encinas has been a part of the Women’s Wrestling team since 2019.

“I started wrestling my sophomore year so I’ve been wrestling for three years now. It’s definitely made my high school experience a lot better. I’ve made a lot of new friends and built long lasting friendships with people throughout the years in wrestling at other schools. This sport really shows what true determination, commitment and a family is,” Encinas said. 

Both wrestlers enjoyed themselves at the meet despite the nerves and tough competition they encountered. In Allen’s case a little bit of tough competition is more than welcome. 

“This was the fourth time I’ve competed at the state level for high school wrestling,” Allen said. “The competition has only gotten tougher over the years, but that’s exactly what we want as we work towards the sanctioning of women’s wrestling in North Carolina.

As for Encinas, the anticipation and pressure of the upcoming meet didn’t stop her from pursuing her goals of placing at the state level.

“The whole week I was so nervous because state was right around the corner but I had one goal in mind, and that was to place at state. It’s a great feeling to get your hand raised and I’ve worked so hard this season for this to happen,” Encinas said. “Having the support from my coaches, family, teammates and friends made all my nervousness go away. I could finally relax after winning my final match. There were so many emotions. I was excited, proud, exhausted and sore. It was definitely one of the best days ever.” 

Allen also had a positive experience at this meet. 

“I got to see a ton of friends and showcase everything I’ve learned in a year. Overall it was an amazing experience and I wish I could do it again,” Allen said. “My favorite part about wrestling at the state level and this season specifically is the confidence I had on the mat. I was rarely nervous to go out there. I knew that I was going to wrestle to the best of my ability whether I won or lost, and I was able to find comfort in that.”

Allen plans to continue her wrestling career at Montreat College after graduation. 

“I’m excited to compete at higher levels and to learn a new style of wrestling. I’m also looking forward to having a girl’s team separate from the boys,” Allen said. 

Encinas also has no plans of ending her wrestling career anytime soon.

“I’ve worked hard the past three years and I don’t want to let go of it. I am looking into colleges right now and deciding if wrestling in college is the path I want to take,” Encinas said. “Either way I will definitely continue doing club and coming to support underclassmen at tournaments and matches. It’s really a life changing sport and it becomes who you are.” 

By: Emma Heagney, Feature Writer

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