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Rutherford finds success in wrestling and lifting

June 12, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Looking at Brawley Union High School's Erin Rutherford, the last thing you'd expect her to compete in is wrestling and weightlifting.

On Friday and Saturday that's exactly what she did, and she did so with success.

On Friday the 16-year-old sophomore competed in the Brawley wrestling team's 11th annual powder puff wrestling event, leading her team to a 38-15 victory. Rutherford was the only wrestler to compete in two matches, winning both.

She pinned Ami Aragon in the second period and later defeated Tanya Bonillas via a 4-2 decision.

"I wrestled last year, but this year I took it a lot more seriously and just worked harder for it," said Rutherford. "This year, though, they told me kind of at the last minute that I was going to wrestle twice. I really didn't know what to expect in that match because I hadn't seen (Bonillas) practice at all."

Rutherford said she used more of her mat skills to defeat Aragon but relied strictly on strength to down Bonillas.


"I tried to keep (Bonillas) on her back and just tried to overpower her," said Rutherford. "Wrestling's a tough sport. It's not like other sports where you have your teammates to back you up. In wrestling it's just one on one."

Rutherford was a member of Brawley's volleyball team and was the starting catcher on the softball team.

She followed her wrestling performance by competing in the inaugural Brawley power-lifting meet Saturday, again helping the Wildcats to victory. As the only girl in the meet, she competed in the 0-119 pound division and took third place.

Each lifter competed in four events — the dead lift, bench press, power clean and squat. She lifted 225 pounds in the dead lift, benched 115 pounds, squatted 150 and power cleaned 95.

While her lifts may be impressive to some, she said she could have done better but a shoulder injury kept her from maxing out.

"I have tendinitis in my shoulder and that injury's been bothering me for quite awhile. I know I could've done a lot better than what I did at the power lifting meet," Rutherford said. "I tried not to let it bother me that much, but it still was hurting at the meet. But overall I think I did pretty well at the lifting meet and at powder puff."

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