Girls break with tradition to compete in DB wrestling



Pictured from right to left are Claudia Gomez, Delany Griffith and Su Eun.

Catherine Liu, Staff Writer

While wrestling has always been as a male-dominated sport, Diamond Bar High School sophomores Delany Griffith and Su Eun and freshman Claudia Gomez have transcended the stereotype.

“Wrestling itself is a good challenge; it’s a fun challenge. You get tired, but it’s a good tired cause you know from all that, you’re still getting close to your team, you’re getting better,” Eun said.

Griffith, Eun and Gomez competed at CIF qualifiers at Upland High School as a team, each at different weight classes. Although they were not able to move on to Masters, the competition tournament after the CIF qualifier, the girls earned a great deal of experience. They were all able to gain experience from practice with guys, raising their level of aggressiveness for competitions.

“I got to see where other girls around my area are at, so I can see ‘Oh I have to push myself this much’ or ‘Oh okay, I’m not doing too bad,’” Eun said.

Eun discovered wrestling through her brother, who had wrestled while attending Eagle Rock High School. Her first experience with wrestling was when she was 14, and competed in the “Beat the Streets Los Angeles” tournament, placing first in her first tournament and second in her second tournament. She started wrestling in 8th grade before joining the Brahma wrestling program in her sophomore year.

“I decided to give it a try, and I really liked it,” Eun said.

Meanwhile, Gomez, who also started in 8th grade, found out about wrestling through her best friend and decided to try it after finding out about the DBHS wrestling summer program.

“She would always tell me how much she loved [wrestling] and how it would help her with the stress and that she would relax at the end of the day,” Gomez said.

As girls in a male dominated sport, Eun and Gomez both said that competing against boys differs from competing against girls in the physicality and difficulty. However, they said that competing with boys help improve their aggressiveness within the play.

“Guys are much more stronger than girls, and they are just more aggressive,” Gomez said. “But girls are scary. They will not be afraid to snap down at your head to pin you and beat you up.”

Griffith, who started in 9th grade, discovered wrestling through her brother, James Griffith, class of 2012 DBHS alumnus who was part of the wrestling team. At home, she would practice wrestling with him in the garage on matts.

“I want to just be the best that I can be and prove to them that I’m not just a girl on a wrestling team, I just want to make a name for myself,” Griffith said.

Griffith’s goal is to reach the Masters next year. Gomez said that wrestling has motivated her to stay in better shape along with maintaining good habits, such as getting to practice on time and going the extra mile with everything she does.

“It’s empowering really,” Gomez said. “It’s hard to have recognition especially because here at this school, we don’t have a full girls team so you have to go that extra mile to prove that you are a good wrestler.”

Gomez and Eun both explained that they would like to continue wrestling in college. While Griffith would not, she hopes to come back and give tips to future girl wrestlers. Eun would also like to consider coaching girls and boys for wrestling in the future.