Alondra Chase, a 17-year-old junior at Salt River High School and a member of the Navajo Nation, has set two records at her school. The first record is for being the first female wrestler from SRHS to qualify and advance to the state championship. More importantly, she is also the first girl in the history of the state to qualify at her weight division.
Head Coach Na Humma talked about what an accomplishment this was for Chase.
“The state wrestling tournament has its own sectional round where only the top four of each weight class qualify,” Humma said. “As it stands currently, Alondra is one of the 16 best wrestlers in the state at her weight class.”
Chase transferred to SRHS from Greyhills Academy High School in Tuba City last year and immediately started looking for sports she could be play in. Every year, she stays busy playing volleyball, wrestling and softball, in that order.
“There’s not a lot of sports to play in the winter season, except for basketball, and I didn’t want to play basketball,” explained Chase. This is her second year wrestling, and although the training can be harder than most traditional girls sports, she’s committed to going through her drills, watching what she eats and practicing her techniques, her snap-downs in particular.
“That’s when she snaps someone’s face into the mat from their standing position,” Humma explained. “Technically, when she’s wrestling, she’s strongest when she’s on the mat. Even boys her size in her weight class have a hard time turning her to her back because she’s able to maintain and fight in that position.”
In Arizona, wrestling is considered a boys sport; there are no girls leagues. That is something that Humma would like see changed while he is still wrestling coach at SRHS.
“I would love for there to be a girls wrestling league in Arizona. It’s hard at first, and not like traditional sports most girls play, but we have a history that says girls can do it just as well as any of the boys and be some of the best among them as well.”
Update: Chase represented SRHS at the Division 4 State Wrestling Tournament on February 8 and 9, playing on a sprained ankle. She lost her first two matches and was knocked out of the tournament. She finished her season with a record of 20-25, with four pins against male opponents.