Calista Ranoa shows a dedication for wrestling

Lucelis Martinez, Staff Writer

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Calista Ranoa, senior, has dedicated herself to wrestling for four years.

She recalled that she joined wrestling because, “I always wanted to do wrestling. I loved MMA when I was little, martial arts, anything like that. My parents never wanted me to join the team because it was an all boys team. My freshman year, the school had started up a girl’s team so I finally convinced my parents to allow me to go and it’s been history ever since. This is not the kind of sport that you get into thinking that it will be super easy and everything is cherries and lollipops, it’s a really hard sport but it’s probably one of the most rewarding sports.”

Ranoa is one of VMHS’ first two four-year women wrestlers. So, Ranoa understands the sacrifices that it to takes wrestle because she’s had to make those sacrifices over the years.

Ranoa detailed, “The worst is when you haven’t drank water in an entire week and you still have to cut and you have to spit. Which is when, you chew gum to produce as much spit as you can and you spit into a bottle and basically that drops of almost a pound if you do it right, and just by the end of the week your mouth feels like you just licked like twelve pounds of salt. It’s so bad.”

The sacrifices she made over the years have reaped benefits for her. Intense workouts unique to the demands wrestling makes of a person’s body. Dedication and perseverance during matches. Ranoa even explained how one of her favorite moves is suplexes, although they are illegal, because of the sound and the pure power of slamming the opponents body onto the mat. Working hard at improving over the years has given Ranoa a sense of appreciation for difficult moves that showcase just how much effort she puts into those after hour workouts. The intensity of preparing for her matches has served her in many ways, for Ranoa the sacrifices she made are also benefits.

Ranoa said, “For one thing, if somebody tries to hurt you, you know all these moves. It is such a confidence boost because you become very fit and you look good. There are so many safety precautions. You can learn all the moves and always get better. It’s not all natural ability like it is for most sports.”

Ranoa has experienced backlash for participating in a sport that some deem not fit for women because of the dangers involved in wrestling with guys. As she’s trained alongside close quarters for years with these guys she has developed an intimate bond, but one where intimacy means cradles, tilts, and other wrestling moves that leave bruises to remember her by. At the level she is now, Ranoa trains with the varsity boy wrestlers and competes against them, so she stands by wrestling amidst controversy about girls being in such a contact sport with guys.

Ranoa said “In any competition I’ve noticed girls are a hundred times scarier. I’ve gone up against guys and some are jerks and try to hurt you but I’ve had girls actually punch me in the face during a match. My second match, I went up against a state placer. She headbutted me to the point where I tore the entire bottom part of my eye. Girls are vicious.”

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Calista Ranoa shows a dedication for wrestling