Cassidy Curtiss felt no pressure during a recent out-of-state trip.
The result for the Tokay High girls wrestler, now a junior, is earning all-American status — twice.
Making the trek to Fargo, N.D. earlier this month, Curtiss competed at the USA Wrestling Junior National Tournament for freestyle wrestling. She took sixth place in the Cadet division, which is the 200-pound class. That helped the California team win the national team championship.
“Becoming a double all-American was crazy,” Curtiss said. “Especially for my first time competing in that tournament because of how intense it was. But overall, an amazing experience with amazing people.
Curtiss also took eighth place in the 235s’ Junior division at the same tournament. In each weight class she posted a 3-3 record.
“We couldn’t be prouder of Cassidy,” said Tokay coach George Bozovich of Curtiss, who finished with a 23-7 record last winter. “It’s not easy to becoming an all-American, let alone doing it in two different divisions. Since the end of (last) season, she has seem to have a newfound drive. I think the season didn’t end the way she had planned — and that’s OK. We call it growing pains. But you learn from them and you keep moving, something that she has done.”
There were 11 girls in the Cadet class with Curtiss, who reached the California Interscholastic Federation State Girls Wrestling tournament last winter. Between the two weight classes, Curtiss wrestled 12 times; six in each weight classes. The tournament in North Dakota lasted four days.
“It was a lot different than normal tournaments,” said Curtiss of the national tournament to high school post-season. “It was a lot more intense. But I just treated like it was a normal (tournament). But overall, it was really fun. The girls there were all super sweet. It was real tough, but it was good for me. I felt tired, but after I left, I was still ready to wrestle.”
Curtiss earned her trip to the national tournament by taking first place at a California USA Wrestling freestyle tournament two months ago.
Before and after the national tournament, Curtiss has spent a lot of time inside the wrestling room, working on her wrestling skills. She’s also pushing herself to have better stamina.
“I do running and occasional weights,” Curtiss said. “I do a lot of cardio. Stuff to build my core.”
One area on the mat she’s emphasizing is her point of attack when she steps onto the mat.
“My standing, when I stand in a match,” Curtiss said. “I need to work on moves.”
As the 2019-20 school year starts for Tokay High students on Tuesday, Curtiss plans to continue her workouts in preparing for the upcoming high school wrestling season this winter. She’s also eyeing a return to the national tournament next summer.
“Hopefully, maybe next year I will get third, fourth,” Curtiss said. “Maybe even higher.”
Bozovich added, “Our season is coming fast and we’re excited about it. We know Cassidy will continue to put in the hard work that lead to her becoming a double all-American and there is know doubt in my mind that she will be back at (the CIF State Tournament) this season along with a few Tiger teammates. And I truly believe with this newfound drive that she can add her name to the list of Tokay High school girl wrestling state placers.”
Curtiss is the second Tokay High female student-athlete to have earned all-American status within the last 12 months. Recent graduate Nicole Iturraran, who is going to San Diego State on a scholarship, earned her status in water polo last summer.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.