PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Bay County wrestler Valarie Solorio made history on Sunday as she was crowned a Fargo U16 National Champion.
Solorio took first place in the 94 pound weight class on the big stage in North Dakota.
“Oh my god, I did it, I did, and then I started crying and I could not stop crying for 30 minutes straight,” Solorio said.
The rising Mosley sophomore won all four of her matches to win the title and it wasn’t easy. In her quarterfinals match, she went up against a Pan-American Games champion.
Solorio said she didn’t know if she would win her finals match at first because of how tough her opponent was out of the gate.
“The other girl she actually took me down first, which was really stressful, I wasn’t expecting that, but then I guess I came back and started to score,” Solorio said.
Solorio is the first Bay County wrestler to win it all and just the second female from Florida to do it, the first one coming in 2013.
She said it was a moment she will never forget, but it was even more special to her because she wasn’t just representing Team Florida, but also the Panhandle.
“It’s everything to me, I mean Northern Florida wrestling doesn’t really get a lot of recognition, so for me to be able to do this and have them say that I’m from Panama City, from Northern Florida really meant a lot to me,” Solorio said.
The young wrestler aims to do much more from here and is even staying in North Dakota for the week to compete in the Fargo Junior National Tournament too.
She hopes her success on the mat will inspire others to try the sport and especially females too.
“Bay County isn’t huge into wrestling, so I am hoping doing what I’m doing, I can help people want to join wrestling and like grow wrestling in my area up in Northern Florida, as well as little girls, I love seeing them come into the mat room, I think it’s the cutest thing ever so hopefully I can encourage them to come and want to start wrestling as well,” Solorio said.