Article written by Rachel Holzhaeuser
CSU’s first woman All-American wrestler, KaMele Sanchez, is back at CSU and ready for the new season.
Despite the fact that Sanchez is prone to shoulder dislocations, wrestles with a shoulder brace, and that her shoulder came out of socket twice the week before Nationals last year, Sanchez became the first woman wrestler from the CSU Sport Club Wrestling team to win an All-American award at Nationals in 2015.
“I sprinted off the stage into my drill partners’ arms; to be picked up and whirled around. We were all pretty excited,” recalls KaMele of the moments following her win.
For KaMele wrestling began on the Big Island of Hawaii during her freshman year of high school, and hasn’t stopped since. Always striving to be better, Kamele’s family, coaches, and teammates help remind her that she has the ability and tools to accomplish great things.
This year, KaMele will be the Wrestling team’s treasurer and is excited for the leadership and responsibility this new title brings. She hopes to find a new confidence within herself on the mat and create the best opportunities for her teammates by helping put together the team’s competition schedule.
Wrestling and its impact on KaMele’s life have inspired her off the mat as well.
“I have kind of always been involved in community activities, I really like helping others and being a part of a larger picture,” said Sanchez.
She and her teammates, as well as coaches Kendall DeJonge and Barry Bernstien, volunteer for the Loveland Classical Schools Club Wrestling team and the Northern Colorado Wrestling Academy. With the guidance and coaching from Sanchez, DeJonge, and Bernstien both teams received honors and medals at competitions during the past year.
Aside from her personal goals of dropping down a weight class and earning another All-American medal, KaMele is excited for a shift in the team dynamic this year.
“We have had some interest from a couple of other women this year, and I hope that we will be able to build each other up and support each other so that I will not be the only female making it to Nationals this year… hopefully in a few years we will have a full women’s team!”
We want to wish KaMele and the rest of the Sport Club Wrestling team a successful season and can’t wait to hear about their new accomplishments.
Feel inspired to try out your own wrestling skills? Intramural Sports is offering a Wrestling Tournament on Sep. 20 and 22. Registration is open through Sep. 18.