Wahluke sophomore Laly Gonzalez-Nunez had a memorable first season, but her career is far from finished

Print Article

Connor Vanderweyst/Sun Tribune - Wahluke wrestler Laly Gonzalez-Nunez became the first female wrestler in school history to reach the state final last season as a freshman.

MATTAWA — Laly Gonzalez-Nunez had no idea who she was going to wrestle in her first-ever state tournament match.

No clue.

Not an inkling.

Her coaches left the opponent a mystery — for good reason.

“They said, ‘We’re not going to tell you. You’re just going to have to try as hard as you can,” Gonzalez-Nunez said.

The opponent was Flor Parker-Borrero of Lakes.

A three-time state champion and Tacoma News Tribune Untouchable in 2018, Parker-Borrero had just one previous loss.

And then something no one could have predicted happened.

“When we were waiting for her (Parker-Borrero) to come to the mat, we were waiting there for around two to four minutes then her coach came by and said she’s not wrestling, she got injured,” Gonzalez-Nunez said.

Parker-Borrero injury defaulted in the first round against Gonzalez-Nunez and then again in her first consolation match, ending her tournament.

For Gonzalez-Nunez, it was only the beginning.

The unknown freshman who started wrestling in seventh grade suddenly found herself in the state quarterfinals.

“Before we were wrestling I prayed so much,” Gonzalez-Nunez said. “I think I can win this match because I made it this far.”

Already ahead on points, Gonzalez-Nunez pinned junior Lindsey Crawford of Stanwood in the third round.

Two matches, two wins, one Friday to remember; Wahluke High School would be represented in the state semifinals.

Then, the nerves arrived.

“Saturday, I got more pressure because my family was there and they were so proud of me,” Gonzalez-Nunez said. “I was shocked that I had made it through to the second day because nobody in the school from girls had made it to the second day... I did it.”

Up next, Nevaeh Cassidy of Union.

“Semifinals was hard. The girl was really tough.”

And yet, Gonzalez-Nunez found an opening in the second round for another win by fall.

“She (Cassidy) was messing up at times so I just got her when she messed up the most and I just pinned her in that moment,” she said. “After the ref blew the whistle I screamed out, ‘Yeah!’ I went up to my coach like, ‘I’m going to the finals! I’m going to the finals! I can’t believe this! I can’t believe this!

I was like freaking out. I was shaking.”

Gonzalez-Nunez would go on to be pinned in the 145-pound championship by Kiley Hubby of Glacier Peak. However, that loss did not sour an otherwise remarkable tournament run.

“It didn’t really matter if I got second or first,” Gonzalez-Nunez said. “I was just happy that I got there from me losing in the beginning of the season, to going to state, and actually placing in the finals.”

However, wrestling isn’t the only thing for Gonzalez-Nunez. She also plays soccer and softball, in addition to a job in George. But there’s something cathartic about take-downs, reversals and escapes.

“I’m stressed because of school and I get a lot of anger in me so coming to wrestling just getting all my anger out, getting it out on the mat, just makes me less stressed,” Gonzalez-Nunez said. “When you get your first win and that ref holds up your hand, that’s like a life-changer right there.”

This season, Gonzalez-Nunez was a tournament runner-up at the Warden Invite and is ranked No. 7 at 155 pounds.

“I just want to try as hard as I can and keep winning,” she said.

Print Article

Read More Sports

Royal soccer scores early, outlasts Ephrata

March 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald ROYAL CITY — It was the “spring” — heavy quotes needed — opener for Royal and Ephrata soccer. Spring in name only as mounds of snow surrounded David Nielsen Memorial and puddles of newly departed sn...

Comments

Read More

South county roundup: Wahluke soccer has 3-0 week

March 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald UNION GAP ­— These days, the only way Wahluke can play soccer outside is if an actual game is occurring. The Warriors made the most of their third day outside of the gymnasium with a 1-0 victory aga...

Comments

Read More

World Records Camp brings track and field legends to Mattawa

March 13, 2019 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register I don’t know how they pulled it off, but Joel Dugan and the hard-workin’ people of Mattawa and Desert Aire are bringing in not only the best, but the very best track and field athletes of a generatio...

Comments

Read More

Wahluke track team ready to let ’er buck

March 13, 2019 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register MATTAWA — The thing about track and field, scoring 10 points at a time is the idea, but depth points is how a team wins championships. Warriors head coach Joel Dugan believes his boys team has tha...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-770-1227
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2019 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X