Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Girls show hard work, quick learning to coach

Girls show hard work, quick learning to coach


Not very many coaches like to be wrong, but Lucas Lucio was happy to stand corrected.

The Wingate High wrestling coach hasn’t had the best luck with female wrestlers, but this season four girls team have showed him a different side.

“I get girls and I’m thinking, ‘She’s not going to complete the season, there’s no way,’” Lucio said. “I’m viewing them throughout practice, throughout the season and they prove me wrong by coming and being dedicated. They come to practice, do their school or they’re balancing everything.”

Two of them, Waynoka Chee and Melayna Patton, competed in the girls’ state championship last season. Chee did not place but Patton did.

Over the weekend, the team competed in the Garrison Spencer Memorial Duals in Shiprock.

Chee competed in the 106-pound class and Patton in 113. Lynnayah James competed at 126 and Riley Ahasteen at 132.

Patton, a sophomore who placed fourth at state last season, said she has seen much improvement.

“I’ve had a little bit of experience, and I have great teammates that help,” she said. “I’m doing better. I get the moves down pretty quickly and once I get the moves, I take it.”

She said she hopes for another state finish.

“I want to try and place at least in the top three,” she said.

Chee, a senior, said she too has shown improvement.

“Last season I wasn’t really working the moves good, and I wasn’t fast enough,” she said. “This year it seems like I know what I really want and I know the techniques better from last year. They helped me and and trying harder helped me as well.”

About The 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 or via cell at (505) 686-0769.


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