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Longtime Colorado Wrestler Makes History

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Gallegos becomes first female to place in the Colorado state wrestling boys division.

By Tucker Reichow

Correspondent

In the 84 years that the Colorado High School Activities Association state wrestling tournament has taken place, no girl has ever placed in a boys division.

History changed when Brighton High School student and Skyview High School wrestler Jaslynn Gallegos stepped onto the state mat for the 2019 Colorado High School Wrestling tournament.

Wrestling had been in Gallegos’ DNA since the day she was born, as some of her family before her had wrestling careers of their own. More importantly, her brother, Orlando Gallegos Jr., who graduated in 2017, was the reason why she started her path to being a wrestler.

“I followed my brother when I started to wrestle. He started wrestling when he was about 5 years old and, at times I was on the sideline watching him,” Gallegos said. “ One day, I had just jumped into wrestling, too and realized I wanted to be a wrestler.”

Her wrestling career took Gallegos all the way to compete in the girls state wrestling tournament her sophomore and junior years. In 2017, Gallegos became state champion in the 101-pound girls division in the 3A class. The following year, Gallegos became a back-to-back champion when she won the 105-pound girls 3A division.

Leading up to the 2019 wrestling season, Gallegos was ranked eighth in the state in the 106-pound division. After her regular season, she accomplished a record of 35-8. The stage was set for her to compete at the Colorado High School Wrestling tournament at the Pepsi Center Feb. 22.

In her matches at state, Gallegos won her first-round match via forfeit against Brendan Johnston of The Classical Academy. In the second round, she lost to Davion Chavez from Alamosa 9-1, which moved her to the consolation bracket.

In the second round of the consolation bracket, Gallegos emerged victorious by defeating her opponent, Jared Van Hee of Gunnison, 9-5. Heading into the third round in the consolation bracket, she pinned her opponent, Alex Castaneda of Eaton, in just under a minute into the match to move onto the semifinals.

In the semi-finals round in the consolation bracket, Gallegos lost 4-2 to Robert Estrada of Weld Central. The last match of her last high-school career ended on a good note as she pinned her opponent, Trevor Torrez of Pagosa Springs, in just 53 seconds. With that win, Gallegos placed fifth in the class 3A, 106-pound boys division and became one of two girls this year – alongside Angel Rios, a soon-to-be senior from Valley High School – to place in the boys division.

“When I placed fifth, I was proud and unsatisfied at the same time. I know I did good, but I wanted to do better. So it was bittersweet, especially since it was my last high-school match,” Gallegos said. “I know that being a girl it’s a huge deal and all. But for me, fifth isn’t good enough.”

After placing fifth in the 3A wrestling tournament and becoming the first girl to do so in a boys division, Gallegos received the 2019 Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award from the Colorado and National Hall of Fame.

“I’ve been told that I am a pioneer for girls wrestling by my coaches and family. But I don’t think that’s something for me to decide for myself. I just try my best at something I love,” Gallegos said. “I hope I open up doors for more girls to wrestle. I have been trying to prove a point my whole life that girls are wrestlers, not girl wrestlers, just wrestlers. I teach younger girls how to wrestle, and the look they gave me when I told them how I did at state gave me so much motivation to do even better because I want them to look at me like that all the time.”