As the Pacific Women’s Wrestling season wraps up, both Saegel Bush (sophomore) and Gillian Venditti (freshman) had the opportunity to qualify for the women’s national meet after getting fifth place in the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships Regional event in Wisconsin on Sunday, February 20, 2022. Bush had two wins and two losses overall in the Regional event, and Venditti had one win and two losses. The National Meet was held at Adrian College in Adrien, Michigan, where wrestler, Bush, took the opportunity to compete in the national tournament. Although Bush didn’t record any wins in the National meet, she explained what that experience was like and how she felt her season went overall.
“Qualifying for nationals was a rush,” Bush stated. “It being my first real year of freestyle wrestling and I didn’t expect to get this far but because of all the help that I had inside and outside of practice, I was able to do fairly well.”
From the qualifiers to the nationals, Bush knew that it would be a big challenge knowing that she was going against the best of the best. She wanted to make sure that her mindset going into it was just as strong as her physical capabilities. Bush described her experience as unique and eye-opening with what the sport has become.
“Going to nationals was a humbling experience,” Bush explained. “Seeing all the talent, hard work, and dedication in one room reminded me of what women are truly capable of. My mindset going through all of this was ‘Do the best I can for right now. Use all of this as fuel and a learning experience to figure out what I can succeed next season.'”
Head Coach for the Pacific Women’s Wrestling team, Zach Binkerd, is proud of what the wrestlers have done this season and is nothing but excited for what’s to come in the following years. Binkerd’s goal is to send the entire team to nationals and know that it is possible with the team he has right now and the program’s growth.
“She competed really well, and she proved to herself that she does belong there. And that her experience will catapult her to success next year,” Binkerd said. “We are looking forward to the growth process we have going on right now. The girls we have coming in and the girls we have coming back, I am really looking forward to our direction next year.” — Todd Takeuchi