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Wilson becomes first girl to wrestle in CIF tournament

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The CIF San Diego Section has had a girls wrestling tournament since 2012, but no Fallbrook High School girl competed in the CIF tournament until Alyssa Wilson was one of the participants in the 2023 Division I tournament held Feb. 4 at Steele Canyon High School.

Wilson competed in the 123-pound division. She won her first match before losing to the weight class winner and to the girl who placed third.

“I think she really represented the girls,” said Fallbrook coach Tom Brockson.

“Overall, I think I did pretty well considering this is my first year doing wrestling,” Wilson said.

Wilson is a military dependent. The family lived in Twentynine Palms before her father, Dan Wilson, was assigned to Camp Pendleton. Alyssa Wilson was in middle school in Twentynine Palms but started ninth grade at Fallbrook High School.

She did not play sports during her freshman year at Fallbrook High School. As a sophomore, she played softball. Wilson was a field hockey player as a junior and, during the 2022 spring season, she ran the 1,600-meter and 800-meter races for Fallbrook’s track and field team. She played field hockey as a senior and was an honorable mention all-league selection.

Her father is an assistant wrestling coach for Fallbrook High School. Her brother, Daniel Wilson, is currently a sophomore and wrestled for the Warriors both as a sophomore and as a freshman.

Joining her brother on the wrestling team was one reason Wilson opted to participate in the sport as a senior. Her goal of becoming a military officer was another reason. “I wanted to work on my mental toughness, and I thought wrestling would be a good idea,” she said.

Wilson is planning to attend the University of Kansas and be part of the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program. She is planning to play field hockey at Kansas and may also participate in club wrestling and softball.

Zayma Christensen of Rancho Bernardo High School was Wilson’s first opponent in the CIF tournament. Wilson pinned Christensen 58 seconds into the match.

“She was a tough competitor for sure, and I’m proud of myself,” Wilson said.

“She executed perfectly. She pinned the girl pretty fast,” Brockson said.

Poway’s Alejandra Valdeviezo would win not only the Division I tournament but also the all-division masters tournament Feb. 17‑18 at Mission Hills High School, and she placed fourth in the state tournament Feb. 23-25 in Bakersfield. Valdiviezo pinned all six of her opponents in the CIF divisional and the San Diego Section masters tournaments with all but the masters championship match involving pins during the first period. She pinned Wilson 36 seconds into their match.

“In the end, it didn’t work out so well, but I still tried,” Wilson said.

“It was a very hard match. She hung in there,” Brockson said.

The tournament had a double-elimination format. Wilson’s only consolation bracket match was against Brianna Ross of San Marcos, who placed third both at the Division I tournament and in the masters tournament. Ross eliminated Wilson with a pin four seconds into the second period.

“It was a pretty tight match,” Brockson said.

“I was trying my best to win it,” Wilson said. “I was just trying to have mental toughness throughout.”

Brockson and Wilson both attributed Wilson’s losses to a lack of experience. Brockson noted that Wilson had few matches and no practices during the season against other girls. “We’re not getting the same reps the other schools are getting,” he said.

“If I had a little bit more experience maybe I would have done a little bit better, but I’m still happy with myself,” Wilson said.

Wilson also missed nearly two weeks of practice prior to the CIF girls tournament due to a sprained ankle and did not resume practice until two days prior to the tournament.

“She definitely improved,” Brockson said.

“She wrestled well,” Brockson added. “She just had a lot of mental toughness.”

The Division II boys tournament took place the following week. Daniel Wilson placed seventh among 134-pound wrestlers to qualify for the boys masters tournament.

“I’m grateful for my teammates and I’m proud of my brother for making it to masters,” Alyssa Wilson said. “I’m pretty proud of myself and proud of my dad.”

 

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