With only one returning women’s wrestler, one new senior and four freshmen added to the squad, Pacific women’s wrestling is getting back on track for success.
“Rebecca Hoffman is our only returning wrestler. Now she is a senior and we look for big things from her,” said head coach Severin Walsh.
Hoffman won a national title back in 2009 and according to Walsh, she is training to win another one this year.
Summer Steenburg is the only other senior on the team. “Summer is taking 20 credits, along with doing internships, so she is very busy. She is a hard working wrestler and a great leader on the team,” said Walsh.
The four freshmen on the squad include: Punneh Abdolhosseini, Jessica Tamayo, Andrina Ramos and Jodi Ozaki.
“These freshmen are outstanding wrestlers. They work very hard in practice and they are the future of women’s wrestling at Pacific. We couldn’t have a better base to build off of,” said Walsh.
The women’s team also holds their program to a high standard and will work toward their goals this season in the hopes of leaving their mark.
“Everyday at practice I look at all the national champions hanging on the wall and it gives me personal motivation to work hard, so someday my picture can be up there too,” said Ramos.
Ramos wrestled all four years at Kahuku High School in Oahu. She received fifth place honors her junior year at state, and fourth place honors at state her senior year.
“We have to keep up with the boys. There is no special treatment, and no slack just because we are girls. We are always expected to do what the boys can do,” said Ramos.
With the season already started, the women are training hard for their first meets, the next one will take place Nov. 20 in Spokane, Wash.
According to Walsh, the women’s wrestling program is always looking for more girls to come out.
“We look for commitment and good attitudes on and off the mat. Wrestling is a lifestyle, it’s like a marshal art,” said Walsh.
Pacific was the first university to have a women’s varsity wrestling program in the country, and since the program has been started there are now 30 schools total that have a varsity program.
“Our girls wrestle the best in the country. Although our pool of wrestlers may be small, they are extremely competitive,” said Walsh.
Pacific has had one Olympian, Tela O’Donnell in 2002, and one who has been on the World Team, Sally Roberts. There have also been numerous others who have been all-Americans and national champions since the start of the program.
“I am excited about the direction of the program and continuing our tradition of success. Everyone better look for us stormin’ back up to the top,” said Walsh.