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San Fernando’s Gianna Anaya’s Eyes Success on Wrestling Mat

Posted by Pablo DiMaria on

Gianna Anaya’s standout high school career has placed her in prime position to win a coveted CIF state championship next season. A senior at San Fernando High, Anaya is a rare three-time state medalist with an overall career record of 96-9.

In her first three seasons for the Tigers, Anaya has won her section tournament and punched her ticket to the state tournament. Not just a phenomenal wrestler in California, Anaya has acquired Fargo All-American honors in multiple occasions competing against the best throughout the country.

Following the 2018-19 season, Anaya was ranked No. 9 at 144-pounds in the final girl’s high school rankings done by USA Wrestling, FloWrestling and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Gianna About her future goals on and off the mats and what does the sport of wrestling mean for her.

DiMaria – How long have you been involved in the sport of wrestling?

Anaya - I am currently on my 9th year of wrestling.

DiMaria – Do you believe San Fernando High has the tools to win a second consecutive team state title? Anaya - Yes, I feel like this year we will have the strongest team we’ve had so far. There’s a lot of incoming freshmen that have been wrestling their whole lives. Another plus is that most of our team has wrestled at state already, so we have a lot of experience.

DiMaria – What is your mindset before your matches?

Anaya - Before a match, I go over scenarios in my head, of what I should do and what could happen. I also remind myself that I've worked and trained too hard to go out without putting up a fight.

DiMaria – In high school, you wrestle folkstyle but during club season you wrestle freestyle. What is the difference, for those who are unfamiliar?

Anaya - The difference between folkstyle and freestyle is that in freestyle you need to have a strong mentality, or you won’t make it. You can get tossed, and get your butt kicked by someone you beat in folkstyle. The points are completely different. If you expose your back for a split second in freestyle you automatically gave up two points, unlike in folk you need to hold them on their back for a while to get points.

DiMaria – What makes the Tiger wrestling team so tough each season?

Anaya - We’re all constantly pushing each other to our limits, we want to stay on top and prove our doubters wrong. We don't want to be known as a one-hit-wonder; we want people to know we’re the best in the state. That’s our motivation for each season, and every year we only get stronger.

DiMaria – Any future for you wrestling in college?

Anaya - Yes of course! Without wrestling I’d be lost; my entire life revolves around wrestling. It’s been a dream of mine since I started with the sport to go to college and wrestle.

DiMaria – Do you have any wrestlers you look up to?

Anaya - If I'm being completely honest the wrestler that I look up to the most is my teammate, Lina Parra. When I first started wrestling all I wanted to do was get to her level. She’s always been good at the sport and still is, I hope our last season together we win individual state titles.

DiMaria – What are your thoughts on the growth of the sport in the Los Angeles section over the last few years?

Anaya - Our section has changed drastically with the sport of wrestling, more with the females rather than the boys. I’m so glad to see our section doing so good, not only state-wise but nationally too.

DiMaria – What’s your favorite food?

Anaya - PASTA! Hands down, it’s my all-time favorite food. After every tournament, I go out and eat pasta. There’s nothing better than eating a plate of pasta after wrestling all day long.

DiMaria - Favorite show to watch?

Anya - “The Office” is my favorite show ever. I’ve watched the series multiple times and it is my favorite to binge-watch.


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