LONGMONT — Katja Klingberg knows very well the stigma that comes along with being a female wrestler and the Catch 22 her opponents are always in.
Win and you just beat a girl. Lose and oh-my, you just lost to a girl.
She really doesn’t care.
The Skyline junior, who got into the sport because both of her brothers were wrestlers, comes to practice every day, works hard and earned her way on to the Falcons’ varsity squad.
On Wednesday night, all that hard work paid off and Klingberg made history by winning her first varsity match 5-3 over Silver Creek’s Brandon Leigh at 126 pounds.
“No one wants to beat a girl, but I don’t see what the problem is,” Klingberg said. “If they are a good wrestler, then they are a good wrestler.”
Klingberg wanted to get the upper hand on her opponent from the get-go and did so, scoring the first take-down of the match in the first minute.
“I knew I wanted to take the first shot,” she said. “And I was really hoping to pin him there in the first, but that didn’t happen.”
The third year wrestler, who missed most of last season due to injury, built her lead to 5-1 going to the third period on the strength of an escape and another take-down. In the third she received a penalty point for locking hands and gave up another escape, but held on for the memorable victory.
“It feels real good,” said Klingberg, who had a big smile on her face.
It was one of the few bright sports for Skyline — David Finley’s pinfall of Shawn Smith the other — on a night that belonged to the Raptors.
The match of the night was at 120 pounds. Silver Creek’s Zack Beckwith tangled with Skyline’s returning state placer Ureil Contreras, who was wrestling his first match in over a year after recovering from and injured elbow.
Beckwith wrestled a smart match and would get all the points he needed in the 6-0 victory in the first period with a take-down.
“Something we talked about this week is to wrestle no matter where you were at on the mat,” said Silver Creek first year coach John Finkbiner, whose team welcomes top-ranked Thompson Valley on Thursday night. “And that’s what he did, he wrestler everywhere and that’s what got him the win.”
Prior to Beckwith’s win, Keldan Stutzman turned a negative into a positive really quickly against Skyline’s Emiliano Rea and was rewarded a pinfall at 1:56 of the first period.
“He tried to take me down using that head-lock and I’ve done jui-jitsu before, so I just sort of grabbed him and used my strength to throw him over,” Stutzman said. “And then I just worked on my side and tried to hold him down as hard as I could.”
The Raptors also got pinfall victories from C.J. Evans (170), Kanoa Gallegos (182), Jacob Williams (285), Sawyer Novarra (106) and Tanner Eshleman (138). Patrick Murray recorded a 17-1 technical fall victory at 145 pounds over Brendan Meuse.
SILVER CREEK 50, SKYLINE 27
At Silver Creek
Sawyer Novarra, Silver Creek pinned Vladyslav Garrett, :33; 113 —
Keldan Stutzman, Silver Creek pinned Emiliano Rea, 1:56; 120 — Zack Beckwith, Silver Creek dec. Ureil Contreras, 6-0; 126 —
Katja Klingberg, Skyline dec. Brandon Leigh, 5-3; 132 —
Benjamin Kalisher, Skyline won by forfeit; 138 —
Tanner Eshleman, Silver Creek pinned Miguel Rodriguez, :58; 145 —
Patrick Murray, Silver Creek tech. fall Brendan Meuse, 17-1; 152 —
Joaquin Nunez, Skyline won by forfeit; 160 — David Finley, Skyline pinned Shawn Smith, 1:37; 170 —
C.J. Evans, Silver Creek pinned Angel Perez, :52; 182 — Kanoa Gallegos, Silver Creek pinned Miguel Rueda, :35; 195 — Antonio Rueda, Skyline won by forfeit; 220 —
Kenny Jones, Silver Creek won by forfeit. 285 —
Jacob Williams, Silver Creek pinned Ricky Childers, 3:28.