For a 19-year-old competing in her first Olympic Trials, Yorktown’s Alara Boyd made quite an impression.
Boyd took the mat at Dickies Arena in Forth Worth over the weekend to compete with the best wrestlers in the nation in the U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials. She entered the 68 kg Challenge seeded fifth among 10 Olympic hopefuls and finished fourth, and just a short ways from perhaps second place.
Based on her early seed, Boyd of McKendree Bearcat Wrestling received a first round bye before taking on No. 4 seed Ashlynn Ortega (New York Athletic Club) in her first match. She defeated Ortega 5-2 to advance to the semifinals. She advanced in the winner’s bracket to face the No. 1 seed, Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Wrestling) and lost a close 4-3 decision.
The loss send Boyd into the consolation match where she faced Sienna Ramirez (Legacy Elite) and won a 12-0 technical fall. In her final battle for the third spot, her match ended in a 2-2 tie, but Alexander Glaude (Titan-Mercury Wrestling Club) earned the win by criteria.
Kennedy Blades, the No. 3 seed, would go on to win impressively, 11-1, over Molinari in the finals, and earn a chance to face world champion Tamyra Mensah-Stock for the right to represent the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics. Mensah Stock won the best of three matches, 12-4 and 8-1.
Boyd had hoped for a high as a third-place finish, but was not disappointed. She’s eager to continue her wrestling career.
“I knew going into this tournament it was going to be a war, and that’s just what it was,” the Winchester native posted on her Facebook page. “I’m hungry and more than ready for the next thing on the agenda of this journey. Here’s to believing in myself, my ability, and my coaches.”