Being a first-year program it is a safe bet that not too many knew of Burbank High senior Irene Abramyan in the Central Division of the CIF Southern Section girls’ individual wrestling tournament last weekend.
Abramayan, who competes at 150 pounds, was not even the Rio Hondo League champion.
But under the radar, Abramyan found a way to advance to CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
She will compete on Saturday at Palm Springs High School with an opportunity to make it to the state meet.
“My goal going into CIF was to just win one match. I knew it was going to be tough,” Abramyan said. “After the first win I felt more confident in my wrestling and then I kind of had the momentum to keep going. I think the lesson from CIF was to take it one match at a time, and make adjustments after each match. That’s the same mentality I’m going to have at Masters.”
Abramyan began her preliminary round at Canyon Springs High in Moreno Valley with a pin of Mariah Serrato of Beaumont. She then moved on to fifth seeded Estrella Linares of Heritage High of Menifee. Abramyan won 15-13 to move to the third round, where she faced fourth seeded Alex O’Neill of Hamilton High in Anza. Abramyan defeated O’Neill 11-4 to advance to the next stage.
While many might be surprised by Abramyan’s success, Burbank coach Jonathon O’Brien is not one of them.
“Irene is the only wrestler in the entire program with perfect attendance for every single, practice since June. Her success is no accident.”
Abramyan will open the masters meet against Newport Harbor’s Eduarda Rodrigues, who is the top seed in the Gold 150 bracket. Rodrigues is ranked third in the nation at 152 pounds by USA Wrestling.
The top four finishers in each bracket of 16 competitors advance to the state meet.
Burbank High Athletic Director Patrick McMenamin acknowledged what Abramyan has done.
“Between Burbank, Burroughs, and Providence High School, Irene Abramyan is the only winter sport athlete whose playoff season is still alive,” McMenamin said. “Congratulations to Irene and the Burbank Wrestling Program on this monumental accomplishment.”