Athlete of the Week: East Anchorage wrestling’s Jamie Garcia

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 2:25 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - This edition of Athlete of the Week features 4-foot 8-inches, 96-pound Jamie Garcia who doesn’t let her size stop her from dominating on the mat.

Jamie Garcia is a junior an Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School. he is 16 years old and has already been wrestling for 10 years, but has just recently started to feel truly comfortable.

“I haven’t really been confident these past couple of years, probably because of my size, but I realized that’s not really a big thing anymore.” Garcia said.

Garcia wrestles in the 103-pound weight class meaning that she is giving up nearly 10% of her body weight during any given match. It is easy to see when you watch her compete that what she doesn’t have in size she makes up ten fold in speed.

“I have been told a lot, ‘oh you’re really short, you shouldn’t be wrestling,’ or ‘you’re really light, you shouldn’t be wrestling’ and I kind of just ignore that and show them that I can wrestle and that none of that matters” Garcia said.

Last year, she came as close to winning state as you can, getting second place with a score of 3-2 in the finals match. This year her sights were set on finally capturing the top of the podium, but she ran into a surprise. In the second round of the state tournament she lost to Danika Dawley of North Pole.

Garcia said that she was caught a little off guard by how much Dawley shot on her legs. The loss meant that she could no longer get first and the best she could do was third.

She climbed her way back up the consolation bracket winning three matches before going up against Dawley again in the third place match. This time Garcia was ready, catching Dawley on a shot and locking her up in a head and arm, the points from which ultimately helped her win the match getting revenge and third place.

Third wasn’t her goal going into the state tournament, but she still managed to make a point that everyone can learn from.

“Size doesn’t really matter. What really matters is how much work you put into (it), how much dedication you put into (it), your technique. Size does not matter at all,” Garcia said after cooling down from her third place match.

The dedicated wrestler is already thinking of ways to get better for next year, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if next year the shortest person in the room most times is at the tallest part of the podium.

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