By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– It’s been about two-and-a-half years since McNary’s Ali Martinez’ last season of wrestling, but it looks as if she hasn’t skipped a beat as she won the 190 pound 6A/5A Special District 2 Title Saturday afternoon at West Albany High School. Defeating Bend’s Sarah Witts by second round pin.
Geez even a gallbladder procedure back in October couldn’t slow the Celtic junior down as her return back to the mat results in a trip to the 6A/5A State Meet at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 24.
“What made me want to come back is the conditioning and getting back into shape for softball because I had my gallbladder surgery in October. So I wanted to get back in shape, but then I ended up doing good,” Martinez said. “The season went not as expected, but a good kind of not-expecting.”
The time healing up from the surgery during the early part of the season made the drive and transition back to the sport a lot more easier. Increasing the energy to put it all out there every match, and challenging her to pushing her even that much more once she was cleared to go.
“Taking the time off really showed how much I loved doing what I was doing. So it was nice to take the break and also get back at it,” Marinez said.
With State on the horizon and being the lone McNary girls wrestler to qualify to State, McKenna Unger (120, fifth), Adriann Durkin (105, sixth), Jessica Cottings (100, fourth), Kailyn Bollman Lechner (100, sixth) all placed, Martinez is eager to continue to improve over the course of the next two weeks in preparation of the State Meet.
“I try not to do anything too hard or challenging, I just do what I know what to do,” Martinez starts. “Getting ready for State I’ll just have the same mentality of working hard. Definitely work on my conditioning because you can’t be too conditioned and just getting stronger at this point.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald