SELMA, Calif. (KGPE) – Due to COVID, Selma Excessive senior wrestler Richard Figueroa missed out on an opportunity at a record-tying fourth state title.
“It hurts rather a lot, however not an excessive amount of,” stated Figueroa, at a university signing celebration for Richard at Selma Excessive College Thursday — “as a result of my coaches advised me, ‘there’s much more down the street to perform.’”
“He acted prefer it was his fault, like ‘I’m sorry coach,’” stated Selma Excessive wrestling coach Sam Lopez, in regards to the pandemic canceling the state wrestling event this yr. “Generally you don’t have any management over what the issues are. I imply, God normally has a plan.”
The Selma senior additionally missed out on the prospect to affix older sister Gracie, as the one brother-sister combo to each win 4 California state titles.
“It form of bums me out a bit of bit, however form of completely happy a bit of bit (too),” stated a laughing Gracie on Thursday. “As a result of (now) I’m the one one within the household to have 4 state titles.”
The query will proceed to be debated about who’s the very best wrestler within the household.
“He’s the all-time to come back out of Selma,” stated Gracie, earlier than laughing once more — “for the lads’s facet.”
However proper now, there isn’t a debating the very best 126 pound, male junior wrestler is within the nation. As a result of Figueroa, who suffered solely two out-of-state losses as a freshman in his three years of highschool competitors, not too long ago captured the junior nationwide title a pair weeks in the past in Iowa. He dominated the competitors, regardless of being smaller and youthful than many of the different wrestlers in his weight class — and never being tremendous sharp when it got here to stay competitors.
“Should you noticed among the matches,” stated Lopez. “It wasn’t even shut.”
“It introduced me pleasure to see some followers,” stated Richard, in regards to the ambiance in Iowa on the UWW Freestyle Nationals Could 2. “(It) pumped me up, and I had a blast, displaying out.”
That win means he shall be representing Staff USA on the Junior World Championships in Russia in August. Then after that, Richard shall be off to Arizona State to start his school wrestling profession, however the way in which he’s trending, that seemingly gained’t be the tip of his wrestling journey.
“That’s the dream,” summed up Richard, “to be Olympic champion.”
And maybe, additionally make a brand new form of sibling historical past with Gracie, who was topped a senior nationwide champion in Iowa.
“Simply touring the world collectively,” stated Gracie about their targets, “and being the very best there ever was.”