Athlete of the Month: Athena Barajas

Athena Barajas is one of our wrestlers on the Washington High School wrestling team who has proven to herself that she can be independent and more humble. “Wrestling helps me self-regulate and it helped me grow as a person,” says Athena Barajas. She never gives up and makes sure to work on getting better and better at the sport each day.She is really committed to wrestling and it has taught her that working hard can make a big difference in her life. Athena wanted to try out wrestling when her father got her brother to try it which he ended up liking and she thought that it looked fun and that she wanted to try it.

 Athena has started wrestling since 6th grade and has been coached by her father. Her brothers Nico and Jacob have also been wrestling at a young age. “Being out there by myself was so empowering and getting my hand raised feels like such an accomplishment, like yeah, that was all me.” Wrestling ended up making Athena a lot more confident and hard working. “I can criticize myself and be okay with it even when my coaches tell me what needs to be done I’m open to the change,” she says. “I know I’ll only gain from listening to them than not.” 

Coach Barajas speaks highly of her .“Outside of the wrestling room she does her best to take care of her body. She eats clean, gets plenty of rest and puts out maximum effort during practices and competitions, ” said Coach Barajas .She has become a lot more humble as well and doesn’t trash talk against other players because she thinks that it’s cheap and actions speak for themselves. 

When it comes to her talking about her achievements, she doesn’t boast because there are always other things to work on in her wrestling technique. One of the challenges Athena has been through was being the only girl on the wrestling team for a long time and having to go to tournaments with only herself and her dad while the guys had to go to their own different tournaments. At first things were tough when at her first tournament, she was 0-2. When people laughed at her when she told them what happened, she made sure to work extra hard and proceeded to win 1st place at her first ever all girls tournament .Things proceeded to get better from there. She placed 6th at NCS, 2nd during her sophomore year, 4th in Cadet Freestyle, Folkstyle,  and the Women’s first ever Greco Roman State in the country. She also placed 7th in Junior Freestyle state in her sophomore year. Athena’s current record 23-2 which 21 of her wins are by the pin. “This year she has been ranked #3 in the State of California at her weight of 111 pounds,” says Coach Barajas..As time went on, she was proud of what she has become and has made a lot of new friends from the wrestling community and different schools.

It is currently Amal Afsal’s senior year at Washington High School. He was born and raised in Fremont, California. For his third and final year at the Hatchet, he will be the news editor. Amal enjoys writing about a variety of topics at the Hatchet, but prefers News and Opinions articles. In his free time, Amal enjoys playing video games while also occasionally watching television and browsing Reddit. He enjoys playing Badminton at WHS’s open gym and is employed by the restaurant, iniBurger. Amal wants to go to community college and transfer to a university within a couple of years.

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