As of Monday, June 25, 2018
SUNNYSIDE Lourdes Torres, 16, embraces the hard work, discipline and dedication — a structured life, in other words —required to be a champion wrestler.
That attitude has worked well for the incoming Sunnyside High School junior. She has qualified for USA Wrestling’s national tournament at Fargo, North Dakota later in July.
Now, she needs to raise the money to get there. She’s hoping family, friends and neighbors will demonstrate support for her at a car wash this Saturday, June 29, at the Daily Sun News parking lot.
Torres goes through a serious preparation routine before matches. She doesn’t hate the opponent, but she psyches herself into being angry at the girl across the mat.
“They call me ruthless,” she said. “My goal is to win, and only to win each time I go out there.”
This desire propelled Torres to more than 30 wins in her sophomore prep season, the district championship, the regional championship and second at state. The loss in the state final fired her up for next year.
“I need to get back into the wrestling room and work harder than anybody else,” she said..
"Luli," as her friends call her, is so strong that she practices a lot with boys. She wins sometimes and, when she doesn’t, she still gives a good accounting of herself.
“I don’t go down without a fight,” she said.
Torres has been wrestling a few years. She was attracted to the sport by her oldest sister Belen, who placed 6th in state her senior year, and sister Maggie, who placed 7th her senior year.
Coming up behind Lourdes is her little 5th-grade sister Delilah. She finished 4th at 110 pounds at a Reno, Nevada tournament this year, and to Lourdes’ delight, is threatening to be the best of the four sisters.
“She’s like my little project,” Torres said. “I’m setting some big goals for myself, and I hope she surpasses them.”
Another reason the Torres girls enjoy wrestling is that it keeps them close to their father. A successful wrestler himself, he was anxious to raise wrestlers and remain involved in the sport.
“My dad always wanted sons, but he got four daughters,” Torres said. “He told me, ‘I never thought I’d be at the side of the mat coaching my daughter.’”
Among Torres’ accomplishments this year is second place at the Reno Nationals. She was on the Washington team that last week won the girls Greco-Roman duals.
Part of the fun Torres is having is the attention that is coming her way. With still two years of high school wrestling remaining, she is already being recruited by college programs.
“Dad is happy,” she said. “He can’t wait till I start college.”