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Draper Journal

JDCHS three-time state champ says wrestling taught her ‘grit’

Mar 30, 2023 01:36PM ● By Catherine Garrett

Juan Diego’s Star Vargas became a three-time state champion Feb. 16 with a win in her final match on the mat Feb. 16 at the 1A/2A/3A girls state championships Sevier Valley Center in the 110-pound division. (Photo courtesy Salmen Sayyed/JDCHS)

Juan Diego Catholic High School’s Yvette “Star” Vargas won her third straight wrestling title at the 1A/2A/3A girls state championships. This year, the senior defeated Canyon View’s Kristine Jensen in the title match in the 110-pound division Feb. 16 at the Sevier Valley Center. She was named the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the state meet.

“This year winning state I was emotional, but more excited than usual,” she said. “What made this title special was that it was the last time I was going to wrestle. And, I had always hoped to be awarded the outstanding wrestler.”

Vargas defeated North Sevier’s Isabelle Sorenson, South Sevier’s Shaynna Fillmore to reach the semifinals where she defeated Ogden’s Brighton Summers before taking down Jensen in the final.

“We are just proud of Star,” said her dad, Vince Vargas. “She knew she was going to walk away from the sport after this season, and she made sure she ended her career with a win.”

JDCHS junior Skyley Hanna, wrestling at 115 pounds, came in third place at state. She won her first two matches over Duchesne’s Daniella Spencer and Juab’s Andelynn Stephensen and then lost to Providence Hall’s Alyssa Lujan. She then beat North Sevier’s Kinsee Salling and then Grantsville’s Bailey Rainer to win the consolation bracket.

Star, the daughter of Vince and Christie Vargas of South Jordan, began wrestling 11 years ago and loved the real sense of community that she has found within the sport and “the unreal feeling of winning” she has also experienced. She said her journey is wrestling has also given her plenty of invaluable life lessons. “Wrestling has taught me that I have grit,” she said. “I know what it’s like to lose and what I have to do to bounce back and learn from my mistakes to be better. It’s also taught me that life gets hard, but without those hard times you as a person wouldn’t be getting stronger.”

“She faced some adversities with some minor injuries, but she stuck with it and ended on top,” said Vince Vargas.

Five members of Juan Diego’s boys wrestling squad participated at the 3A boys state wrestling championships Feb. 15-16 at the Sevier Valley Center but didn’t place.

Sophomore Mario Perez competed at 120 pounds, sophomore Corbin Buckley at 144 pounds, sophomore Antonio Archuleta at 157 pounds, sophomore Toby Hardin at 165 pounds and freshman Giovanni Hernandez at 190 pounds. 

At the 3A/2A/1A Divisionals that were held in early February at Morgan High School, Star Vargas and Hanna won their weight categories to lead the girls team to a sixth-place showing. Also placing at Divisionals was Ximena Torales-Quintana (fourth, 125 pounds), Jade Alcala (fourth, 130 pounds) and Tiffany Nguyen (seventh, 110 pounds).

The boys squad, who placed eighth at Divisionals at Ben Lomond High School in early February, were led by Hardin in fourth place at 165 pounds.

Other top-eight placers were Perez (sixth, 120 pounds), Buckley (eighth, 144 pounds), Archuleta (eighth, 157 pounds), Sebastian Ramirez (sixth, 190 pounds) and Hernandez (seventh, 190 pounds).