SportsAthlete of the Week


Athlete of the Week: Defending Wrestling State Champion, Isabella Cross

Isabella Cross is looking to win back to back state championships for Mesa Ridge wrestling
Posted at 3:38 PM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-16 20:57:50-05

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Hundreds of wrestlers across Colorado are in Denver this week for the state championships. Friday is the quarter and semi final rounds at Ball Arena.

Our Athlete of the Week, senior Isabella Cross, is there representing Mesa Ridge High School. The state championship is nothing new for Cross, who is looking to defend her title.

Cross won the state championship last year. On Friday, she won her quarterfinal match, making her one step closer to going back to back as an individual champion.

“What I do the second I get on the mat is I tune out everything around me and just listen for specific voices that my coaches like. I'll just tune out everything and I won't think about anything except for my first move that I'm going to do,” Cross said.

One of those voices is her mom and coach, Kim Cross.

“I started wrestling when I was eight. I kind of got into it because my brothers were wrestling. My mom was like a wrestling coach for a club,” Cross said.

Cross said her favorite part about wrestling is the competitiveness and making relationships.

“I just think it's so cool. Like with girls like teams, how you become more of like a family than, like, just friends,” Cross said.

She said the sport has really grown throughout her high school career.

“Every year, you see the brackets are getting bigger and there's more teams with full lineups and even some JV and it's just super exciting,” Cross said.

She punched her ticket to the semifinals at the state tournament in her Friday morning match. Her latest win puts her at 37-2 on the season.

“Coaches always say do what your opponent's not willing to do,” Cross said.

She said there's always a way to push through and never give up, which is a mindset Cross learned from wrestling.

“It could be in the third period and you could feel like you're gonna throw up, but you just have to keep going to win the match. So it's taught me to just overcome many obstacles,” Cross said.

She encourages other girls to give wrestling a try, saying being a part of Mesa Ridge's team has been a blessing.

“It's always going to be hard the first couple weeks, but then afterwards you start getting into it and it's a lot smoother and you will create many relationships and just be confident out there. Just go do your thing,” Cross said.

If Cross wins her semi finals match Friday night, she will compete in the championships bracket on Saturday.

After this season, Cross will wrestle for Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Cross said she is excited to wrestle against new competition.

“Down here, I have wrestled all the same girls since we were little. We were the first actually to wrestle when wrestling was sanctioned, so we all grew up wrestling each other at tournaments and stuff. So, it is going to be exciting to see some new people from out of state and make new relationships,” Cross said.

Cross looks forward to following in her brother's footsteps as a collegiate wrestler.


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