Kristina Schmuhl, junior
Lexi Tonascia is not your average female sophomore. She obsessively watches her weight during the holiday season and is the center of attention in a room of rowdy boys. But how are these qualities unaverage you say? Well, Tonascia is a female wrestler.
Standing at 5’?, the athletic, young woman can be seen giggling with her friends while walking the halls at school, or discussing the complexities of harry potter during a tennis match, another sport she participates in at Maria Carrillo High School. But on the mat, she is a different person.
Her coach Rhett Lacey raved about her excellent work ethic. “[Lexi] knows the moves, and knows when to use them.”
Tonascia’s wrestling strategy can be describes as not only tough but dynamic. “Shes kind of serious, but knows its not the end of the world [if she loses]” said Lacey. “If I had to describe her in one word it would be intelligent.”
Lexi has been wresting since sixth grade when her brother Sam picked it up at Rincon Valley Middle School. He started wrestling in eight grade because of some friends. “it was a little strange at first but now I’m used to it.” The two have become closer because of the mutual sport and often talk about it.
After years of practicing jiu-jitsu, a form of martial arts, the transition into becoming a successful wrestler was not difficult. “The only thing I liked [about jiu-jitsu] was back-to-back, which is pretty much wrestling,” said Tonascia.
For her family, they had seen the evolution approaching for quite some time. (quote from family) Even Lexi admited “They knew it was coming, I started to pay more and more attention at [Sam’s] games.”
In recent years wrestling has become a more integrated sport, no longer subject to the discrimination due to sex it used to have. The first official California State Championship for girls will be held this year, and Tonascia could very well be a contender.
Tonascia barely missed the cut for NCS last year as a freshman. With only ten seconds left in her match, Tonascia ahead 3-2, her opponent made a remarkable move which won her the set. The future looks promising for her at a shot at first Nor-Cals, then on to state competition. Tonacia’s main goal is “to make is to state and we will go from there.”