South Surrey wrestler Ana Godinez Gonzalez had quite a weekend on the mats in Saskatoon.
The Earl Marriott Secondary grad, who now competes with the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades in U Sports competition and with the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling at the club level, won a pair of titles at Canadian Wrestling Championships – first, in the junior women’s division, and a day later, in the senior competition.
Competing in the 62-kg weight class in the junior division on Friday (March 22), Godinez Gonzalez won by technical fall (achieved by scoring a specific number of points) over Avery Cameron of Ontario’s Guelph Wrestling Club.
Ana Godinez Gonzalez of Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club wins Junior Canadian Championship gold 🥇 at 62 kg!
— Wrestling Canada Lutte (@WrestlingCanada) March 23, 2019
A day later at the senior level, Godinez Gonzalez added a second gold medal to her collection, defeating Ontario’s Jessica Brouillette of Brock Wrestling Club.
Godinez Gonzalez was recognized as the ‘Outstanding Female Wrestler’ of the tournament as a result of her dominant performance.
The EMS alum – who moved to Canada from Mexico with her family at age 8 and didn’t begin wrestling until Grade 11 – said while she knew she had a shot to win one, or even both of the national titles, she tried her best not to put too much pressure on herself.
“That was my goal, and I knew it was a possibility. I knew there would be a lot of (talented) wrestlers, but I know I work harder than anyone I know,” she told Peace Arch News. “But I came in without expections – I told myself to have fun, and go out and wrestle and do what I do every day.”
Godinez Gonzalez said her athleticism helped her – especially in the senior event, where she was the only competitor without a resumé full of national and international competition. Athletic genes run in her family, she noted.She has two older sisters – one, Karla, is also a wrestler, while her oldest sister Lupita is a professional mixed-martial arts fighter.
Godinez Gonzalez wasn’t the only wrestler with Surrey connections to strike gold in Saskatoon, either. Two of her teammates with the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club – sisters Alexia and Victoria Seal – also won the 50-kg and 53-kg women’s divisions, respectively, at junior nationals. The Seal sisters are the daughters of former Black Press Media and Surrey Leader photographer Evan Seal.
For Godinez Gonzalez, the two national medals cap a remarkable few months. In February, the second-year UFV student went undefeated at U Sports Wrestling Championships, winning all four of her matches by tech fall. She had zero points scored against her, and finished the event with an aggregate total score of 42-0.
She was also named U Sports’ female wrestler of the year at the organization’s All-Canadian awards banquet. She was the first Cascades athlete – male or female, in any sport – to win a U Sports athlete-of-the-year award.
Next up for Godinez Gonzalez is, possibly, a trip to Calgary for a Canada Cup wrestling tournament in July. She is also eyeing junior and senior world championships in late summer, but is still waiting on Canadian citizenship papers to process before she can don the Maple Leaf at those competitions.
She applied for citizenship last year, and said Wrestling Canada is now helping her navigate the process.
“They’re going to try to speed it up,” she said. “It’s exciting, it’s nice.”
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