CLEWISTON — Arelys Valles, a Clewiston High School 2013 alumna and University of the Cumberlands (UC) 2017 alumna, is now attending UC for a master’s degree in coaching and will receive her degree in August. She is a two-time All-American in WCWA (Women Collegiate Wrestling Associate).
The first weekend of January, Valles traveled to Fort Wayne, Ind., to compete in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) national duals. For the tournament, Valles weighed in for the 109-weight class; however, she competed at the 116 weight class for the two-day tournament.
“Depending on the other team lineup, my coach will bump girls around for the best of the team to get the win. So, it did not come as a surprise that I was getting bumped up in weight class for each dual,” Valles said.
That weekend, Valles went 2-1. In the second match, she won against a wrestler who was ranked No. 2 at the 109 weight class.
“Those were very long six-minute matches. We just kept going back and forth with points. In the last 40 seconds, I was down by six points and ended the match 14-14, and was able to win by criteria,” said Valles.
From successfully taking that match, it later came in play at the national tournament. The past couple of years, she had been competing at the 109 until a decision was made to go back down a weight class.
“For the past two seasons, I had been competing at the 109 weight class. During the season I was successful in my matches; however, at the national tournament both years, I lost in blood-round, which made me not All-American.
“In December, my coach and I talked about going back down to 101 for nationals. It has been years since I competed at that weight and was nervous about the cut, but for national dual it was an easy cut to make 109, so I told him I’ll go back down to 101, one was last time and I did.”
After making the decision, Valles left the WCWA National Championship as a two-time All-American.
“The outcome was not what I wanted and it took a bit to recover. However, I cannot complain because I made weight and can say I am a multi-All American when it’s hard to make All-American in the collegiate level,” Valles said.