State title for Minnix

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso's Sharon Minnix runs to coach Andy Olive, Feb. 17, after being declared the Girls 143 champion at the State tournament in Rio Rancho.

RIO RANCHO – For all the buildup to Sharon Minnix’s championship match at 143 in this year’s historic girls State tournament at the Santa Ana Star Center, Feb. 17, the actual match was almost – almost – anti-climactic.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Sharon Minnix gets the pin on Bernalillo’s Yaracely Saenz, Feb. 17, in the championship match of the Girls 143 division at the NMAA State tournament in Rio Rancho.

Minnix came back from a reversal and earned a pin in the first period of her match with Bernalillo’s Yaracely Saenz to secure the title.

Afterwords, Minnix was one happy wrestler.

“This doesn’t feel like I expected, just the fact that it came true, that it actually happened,” Minnix said.

Saenz represented Minnix’s touches test to date. After Minnix earned the first points a minute into the first round, she was the victim of a reversal that tied it at 2-all with about 1:40 left.

Things stayed that way until Minnix was able to pull a move that put her back up top.

“I was a little worried when I was on bottom, I’m not as good there as when I’m at neutral,” Minnix said. “I just went with my gut feeling, reached back to get head and arm and pull her over me.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Sharon Minnix holds on to Bernalillo’s Yaracely Saenz, Feb. 17, in their championship match at the State tournamen tin Rio Rancho.

The two points Minnix earned didn’t just put her back on top, it also ended the match. Saenz basically tapped out and Minnix was the victor.

“She’s strong, but I wasn’t worried,” said Ruidoso coach Andy Olive of Saenz’s ability. “Not after I saw (Sharon) shoot a double leg on her in the first half of the first round. I knew then and there that she wanted it.”

It was a State title for a Ruidoso Warrior, but Minnix is hoping it also represents the beginning of a new tradition at her school.

“Hopefully more girls will join this team and this can grow,” Minnix said. “In New Mexico, not just Ruidoso, so I won’t be the only girl on my team.”

As a sophomore, Minnix still has a couple of years to see that happen.

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