Freshman Lemoore High School Tiger female wrestler excels at her sport and seeks bigger titles in the years ahead

By Ed Martin
LHS Wrestler Rianna Bernal
LHS Wrestler Rianna Bernal

Local athletic history was made this month in girls’ wrestling when Lemoore freshman Rianna Bernal, on June 3 and 4, became the first Lemoore female wrestling to win in Greco wrestling at Fresno’s Selland Arena on June 3 and 4. Her title sealed the deal for her “Triple Crown” award. Bernal is the first Lemoore High School girl to do this as a freshman.

The Triple Crown Award is when a wrestler wins Folk-style, Freestyle, and Greco State. Bernal won Folk Style state in March, Freestyle state in April, and this past week took top honors in Greco. 

Bernal has put in plenty of time on the wrestling mats this year to get where she seems to be going. During the high school season, Bernal took 4th at the Girls’ Areas competition and 5th at the CIF Central Section Masters, where she came within one match to qualify for state. 

The talented Lemoore High School athlete also competed at the 2023 USA Wrestling Western Regionals in Farmington, Utah, where she took 4th place. States that are represented at the Western Regionals include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. 

Bernal earned her spot for the California national team and will travel this summer to wrestle at the USA Wrestling Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.

All this was accomplished in just her freshman year. 

“I see a lot of potential and great leadership with her,“ said head girls’ coach Armando Calderon, a former Tiger who used to wrestle for Lemoore High School. “She just wants to see Lemoore’s girls’ program grow in Lemoore.”

Calderon says Bernal has a bright future in wrestling. “Other kids work out with her,” said Calderon.  “She’s always trying to get better, and she’s one of those kids who will do anything for the sport and anything for her to improve. If we had a team full of girls like her, we’d probably be looking for a state championship. That’s just how good her work ethic is,” he told The Leader.

“We’ve had some real standouts. We’ve had three valley individual championships from former Tiger Esperanza Ortiz (formally Cadena). She was a four-time Valley finalist, three-time Valley Champion, and a three-time state placer.

Rianna has been putting in the work to equal or surpass her predecessors. “I’m going to say I did pretty good,” said the 14-year-old Rianna of her first year of high school wrestling.

What got her interested in wrestling? “My brother used to do wrestling to stay in shape for sports, and I decided one day that I wanted to try wrestling.” 

What is it about this demanding and physical sport that she likes? “What I like about wrestling is that the more work you put into it, the more you’re going to get out of it,” she said proudly.

She plans to continue wrestling for the rest of her high school years. “That’s one of my goals:  to earn a wrestling championship,” said the confidant 14-year-old.

 Her brother, Richard Medina, also wrestles, and she has a seven-year brother Easton Vargas and a sister, Rene Medina, 16, who also attends LHS.

Freshman Lemoore High School Tiger female wrestler excels at her sport and seeks bigger titles in the years ahead




Comments powered by Disqus