RIO RANCHO – At the beginning of this wrestling season, Sharon Minnix’s coaches told her she was going to be one of the best wrestlers in the state.
On Saturday at the New Mexico National Guard State championships, she’ll get a chance to prove it.
The Ruidoso sophomore turned in wins over Aylin Mijares of Bernalillo and Cleveland’s Shyra Legarde in the 143-pound division, Friday, in the first-ever girls state tournament to earn her a shot at a title.
“This feels amazing,” Minnix said. “I’m nervous, but I won’t let it get to me. It’s not good for the mindset.”
Minnix’s title run almost ended in her first match, as she found herself trailing Mijares, 9-8, with 20 seconds to go in the match.
But Mijares, who had already been given a caution over a hold, was called for the same illegal hold at the buzzer and Minnix was given a point to tie it at 9-all.
After that, it took three overtime periods before Minnix was able to gain an 11-9 advantage. She was holding on to Mijares for dear life with time running out when she finally let Mijares stand to get the escape point, but there wasn’t enough time for her to go for a takedown and Minnix got the 11-10 victory.
“Who wanted it more? I wanted it more,” Minnix said of her mindset after the tie point that put things into overtime. “I had the heart for it.”
After the intermission, it was a relatively short turnaround for the Warrior, taking on Legarde in the semifinals of a tournament in which wrestlers were not sprlit up into school class sizes.
Minnix had faced Legarde before, at a season-opening tournament at Cleveland High School. In that one, Legarde earned the victory.
Minnix said the difference this time was her determination.
“I just said to myself that I couldn’t lose anymore,” Minnix said. “I just had to go with my heart and work harder.”