Wrestler earns All-American designation

Senior All-American Ariana Mendoza and coach Brett Wandler

Courtesy of Brett Wandler

Senior All-American Ariana Mendoza and coach Brett Wandler

Wesley Cornelius, Sports Editor

At the end of her unprecedented journey, wrestler Ariana Mendoza continued to find ways to succeed.

She earned All- American honors after placing eighth at the National meet in Oklahoma on March 25-26.

Mendoza started the competition off strong, pinning her first opponent.

“She handled her opponent,” coach Brett Wandler said.

However, her second match was against the eventual champion of her weight class. Her opponent exposed her weaknesses, and the lack of experience for Mendoza was clear.

She bounced back, and pinned the New York state champion in 37 seconds.

“You immediately saw a change in her mindset,” Wandler said.

Up next was a girl from El Paso that Mendoza had not faced in the state meet. Mendoza took an early lead and rode it out to win the match.


One match away from securing a top eight spot, and the title of All- American, Mendoza went up against a girl from a powerhouse program in California. After a tough first period, Mendoza took control of the match and secured the victory with a pin.

Now wrestling for place, Mendoza went up against very solid wrestlers and lost her last two matches to finish in eighth.

Mendoza plans to join the wrestling club at the University of Texas at Austin. She had interest from other colleges at the meet but chose to keep academics as her main focus.