PORTLAND — Delia Gulzow became the first La Grande girls wrestler to place in the state wrestling tournament as she took fourth at 100 pounds with a record of 2-2.
The freshman, who also was the first Tiger to compete at the girls state tournament, reached the semifinals after a 2-1 decision over North Salem’s Norely Lara. After dropping the semifinal match to La Pine’s Olivia Flack, Gulzow guaranteed herself a spot on the podium by defeating North Medford’s Alyx Cameron, taking over in the latter stages of the match to earn a 7-0 decision.
Her tournament run ended with a close 4-2 loss to Newport’s Chelo Garcia. The wrestlers were tied at 2-2 late in the third round before Garcia tallied a near fall to grab the win and third place, while Gulzow took fourth.
“Being a freshman wrestling 1A through 6A girls was very challenging. I was happy with what I accomplished this year, and I hope to achieve higher placements in the upcoming years,” she said.
Gulzow garnered interest in the sport, she said, after watching her brothers’ practices when she was younger.
She’s not the only girl on the wrestling team — her sister, Bella, a junior, is among the other girls on the squad — but she is hopeful her placing at state will draw even more interest to the girls program.
“I am hoping that my successes this year and previous years will inspire other girls to want to join wrestling,” she said. “Girls wrestling is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and it’s amazing to watch it grow. When Bella was in eighth grade and I was in sixth grade we were the only girls on the team, and now there are around 10 in La Grande. That’s incredible growth in three years.”
The freshman also is grateful because of what La Grande has given her and said she is “proud to represent La Grande because I get to pay back the efforts of so many people who have helped me.”