Wrestling makes a comeback at Pacific
- Molly Trotter
- Forest Grove News-Times - Sports
After a few years of low turnout, Pacific looks to get its women's wrestling program back on track with a new crop of six freshmen
Pacific University is one of the few schools in the country that offers a women's wrestling program for those that want to wrestle at the college level.
Head coach Severin Walsh, now in his fourth season coaching both the men's and woman's programs, said in the past he has had a difficult time recruiting female wrestlers, but this year is a different story entirely.
Walsh said that the women's team is looking much better with a strong squad of seven women on the roster for this season.
'We were fortunate to have such a good freshman class, not only number-wise, but great young women as well,' Walsh said. 'We were able to score recruits from Hawaii, California and Washington by reaching out to as many people as possible.'
According to Walsh, the program is always looking for women who have a tough mindset that allows them to be great students and hard-nosed athletes.
Another positive for the women's team this year was the return of two wrestlers, Andrina Ramos and Jodi Ozaki. Both women are sophomores for Pacific, which helps add experience with the six freshmen who are new to the program.
'I expect big things from our returning girls Andrina and Jodi,' Walsh said. 'They have been tremendous with their leadership.'
Ramos, who has sophomore eligibility but is a junior academically, is the eldest player on the team.
'Our coaches did a great job recruiting these girls,' Ramos said. 'Women's wrestling is slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. In Hawaii, women's wrestling is much more popular. I think that explains why five of the seven girls on our team are from Hawaii.
'Our coaches did a great job recruiting serious, dedicated and committed female wrestlers who will work hard all season.'
As a co-caption with Ozaki, Ramos does her best trying to pick up the girls' spirits by sending out encouraging text messages to her teammates to ensure them that if they need someone, she is there for support. She said that she knows how hard it was her first year competing and wrestling. and she wants to be there for her team.
'All the girls are very gifted in the classroom, but some chose Pacific over other schools with wrestling for its academics reputation,' Walsh said, adding that he hopes to continue building the program with classes as strong as this year's.
Currently the women's wrestling team is in the midst of a three-week break for Christmas, but the Boxers will be back in action on Jan. 6 with a dual meet against Yakima Valley Community College, followed by a dual against Simon Fraser on Jan. 7.
Earlier this month, Pacific made its lone home appearance of the season with matches against Menlo, Yakima Valley CC and Southwestern Oregon CC at the Stoller Center.
Ramos won two of her three matches on the day. She opened the event with a two-round technical fall over Southwestern Oregon's Alejandra Paez and finished with a close 1-0, 3-3 win over Menlo's Zhavon Resendez.
Pacific freshman Rustee-Ann Johansen, meanwhile, finished with a 2-2 record on the afternoon. She wrestled two matches in the opening round against Southwestern Oregon CC, earning a win when she pinned the Lakers' Caroline Crawford in the first round. She closed her day with another pin, finishing off Menlo's Jeanette Maranjo late in the second round.
Pacific fielded a team of four wrestlers on the day, with freshman Jordyn Lee and Ozaki going winless in their bouts.