DEMING - Mount Baker's Aniecea Camacho didn't want to wrestle before her match began. She was so nervous.
It's understandable, given Camacho is a freshman and was wrestling in her first varsity dual in front of plenty of onlookers at the Mountaineers' Deming Dome. Not to mention she's a 155-pound wrestler and faced a 170-pounder to help Mount Baker fill its wrestling card.
Her performance resembled nothing of a first-year novice.
"I was so scared," Camacho said. "I didn't think I was ready."
The Baker freshman provided one of the more exciting matches of the evening, and helped the Mountaineers score a 66-6 win against the newly-formed Bellingham-Squalicum girls' team during a Northwest Conference match Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Mount Baker High School.
Camacho's bout with Taryn Rodgers feature five lead changes - four in the second period - but Camacho began to take control in the third and pinned Rodgers 1 minute, 4 seconds in the final period to earn the Mountaineers six points.
"It felt really good," Camacho said. "I was actually really surprised. I was scared at first, but I was really happy with how I fought. I just kept battling."
Now that she has her first dual out of the way, Camacho won't be debating whether or not to back out of a match anymore, right?
"I get nervous all the time, probably not," said Camacho, affirming she'll probably get nervous again. "I think that is what keeps my adrenaline going, though."
Camacho's pin was one of three for Mount Baker in a dual meet complete with five Bellingham-Squalicum forfeits.
After Bellingham-Squalicum's Chelsey Howard pinned Mount Baker's Brittanni Meza 52 seconds into the second period to open with a 6-0 lead, the Mountaineers reeled off 66 straight points.
Mount Baker's Natalie Smith (118 pounds), Megan Young (145) and Aysha Schwinden (235) pinned their opponents, and Nicole Boardman, Jessica Mata, Ivy Locke, Sylvia Lynch, Lacy Cannon and Hanna Jackson won by forfeit. Ellie Baddeley beat Bellingham-Squalicum's Abbie Sandell by default in the first period.
"It was great," Mount Baker coach Clyde Blockley said of the win. "We got nine freshman girls and seven or eight new girls. They're all buying into what we are doing, and they are wrestling hard. We had two freshmen (wrestling) tonight. They were our two 170 matches, and they wrestled great."
Bellingham-Squalicum coach Jaron Kensok was pleased to see the progress his team's making, despite the lopsided result.
"Each school kind of has their own signature move, and watching film on Mount Baker, we kind of new what they were going to do," Kensok said. "They did it, and a lot of our girls countered it well. That showed progress on our part. Baker is a tough team. There is no doubt about that. You can't expect to come in and blow the roof off the place."
Howard, who Kensok thinks has a great chance to be a state wrestler, enjoyed a strong match, and Rogers went three periods with Camacho after losing to her early in the first period during the George Yonlick Tournament Friday, Nov. 30.
"Chelsey is somebody we are very excited about," Kensok said. "She is the quickest learner I have ever met in my life. She is very detail oriented, and you can see that on the mat."
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862.
MOUNT BAKER 66, BELLINGHAM-SQUALICUM 6
106: Chelsey Howard (Bell-Sq) pin Brittanni Meza (MB) 2:52. 112: Nicole Boardman (MB) forfeit. 118: Natalie Smith (MB) pin Sydney King (Bell-Sq) :37. 124: Jessica Mata (MB) forfeit. 130: Ivy Locke (MB) forfeit. 137: Sylvia Lynch (MB) forfeit. 145: Megan Young (MB) pin Jamie Keller (Bell-Sq). 155: Lacy Cannon (MB) forfeit. 170: Aniecea Camacho (MB) pin Taryn Rogers (Bell-Sq). 170: Ellie Baddeley (MB) default Abbie Sandell (Bell-Sq). 190: Hanna Jackson (MB) forfeit. 235: Aysha Schwinden (MB) pin Jordan Willoughby (Bell-Sq) :44.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.