‘A step above’

Miyamura girl wrestlers make history

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Miyamura Lady Patriot Shandiin Largo looks to the crowd after winning a semifinal match against Aztec’s Alvina Litzin on Saturday afternoon during the New Mexico Activities Association Girls’ State Wrestling Exhibition Tournament in Rio Rancho, N.M.


Years of wrestling with the boys finally paid off for four Miyamura girl wrestlers.

Shandiin Largo, Alyssa James, Nancy Rodriguez and Yele Aycock made history over the weekend and earned Miyamura its first girls’ state wrestling title.

The four scored a combined 58 points to win the 2018 New Mexico Activities Association Girls’ State Wrestling Exhibition Tournament out of 33 teams.

Aycock, a freshman, who placed first in the 121-pound weight class, said she and her teammates were always treated equally in the weight room and that’s what led them to a first-place win.

“There’s not discrimination,” she said. “We’re expected to work just as hard as the guys. I think that’s what sets us apart – we took first as a team and I think that’s what put us first, we practice with the guys, we train with the guys.”

Rodriguez, a sophomore, placed first at 160 pounds, and Largo, a freshman, placed fourth at 185 pounds.

James did not place after falling short in the consolation rounds.

Miyamura coach Nate Sellers said he was happy to see the female wrestlers on his team get recognized especially after making stellar performances over the weekend.

“It was great to be a part of their journey and creating history for women’s wrestling,” Sellers said. “In New Mexico wrestling’s always been recognized for women at the Olympic level, but never on a regional circuit, so it’s a step forward in developing our sport to be open to both genders and seeing that it’s not only a male sport.”

His three state champions dominated, he said, and pinned their opponent in the first round.

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Categories: Wrestling

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com or via cell at (505) 686-0769.