Senior wrestlers conquer state


Photo courtesy of Olivia Moreno

ON THE MAT: Senior Olivia Moreno competes at the UIL State Championship. Moreno won her third straight state championship.

Mars Canepa, Digital Staff

Senior Oliva Moreno plants her feet on the mat and takes her position, eyeing her opponent. Four years of wrestling with Bowie High led to this pivotal moment, with all of her hard work and her dreams on the line. Moreno braces herself as the ref begins to start the match. 

Seniors Olivia Moreno, Elayna McKinney and Ava Ford all competed at the state level of Texas wrestling under the annual UIL championship on the weekend of Feb. 17. Moreno carries a spotless fight record through her high school career, amassing 101 wins with no losses, this year marking her third consecutive championship victory.

“I feel like I work hard at every practice,” Moreno said. “[The team has] been very supportive and they’ve been there when I needed them and helped me to push myself.”

This year’s competition marked the first time both Ford and McKinney advanced to the championship level, joining Moreno at the top of Academic Texas Wrestling. With Moreno’s guidance, the girls were able to navigate such a big competition.

[Olivia] was so glad we came because all the other years it’s just been her,” McKinney said. “It was really fun, we all were there for each other and Olivia since she had done it before, she helped me and Ava get started with a warm-up and know what to do.” 

Despite Wrestling being a very individual sport, the players find comfort and drive within their teams. From freshman year to senior year, Moreno has been able to grow immensely because of her teammates.

“[The team] became my second family,” Moreno said. “We all support each other, we’re always in each other’s corner”

Even with the departure of these accomplished seniors, Ford believes the future of Bowie Wrestling remains strong. 

“I know all of them really well and they all work really hard,” Ford said. “I know they will go to state, we will have more state qualifiers”

Despite Moreno being the only of these girls to pursue wrestling after high school, all of the seniors have left something for their younger peers to learn from.

“If you’re half invested then it’s not going to work out,” McKinney said. “You have to love it and enjoy the small things when you can.”