Wrestlers Attend State Competition, Muñoz Wins State Title


Photo courtesy of the Cedar Park Wrestling Twitter

Senior Jacob Muñoz becomes the second wrestler to win first place at the state tournament.

Justin Ballou, Reporter

For the second year in a row, Cedar Park has a state champion wrestler. Senior Jacob Muñoz won the title for his weight group (195 lbs-220 lbs), crowning him No. 1 in the state of Texas. 

“I felt pretty accomplished and satisfied [that] I reached my goal and finished the season strong,” Muñoz said.

The UIL Wrestling State Tournament took place on Feb. 22 and 23 at the Berry Center in Houston, TX. Each wrestler started in a bracket of 16, made up of the best wrestlers in the state. The last one standing took home first for each weight class.

Junior Ben Bell took home first place at regionals, and also finished third in the state. Bell said the key to his success at both State and Regionals was his speed, because he was outweighed by around 40 lbs.

“I used my dad as inspiration to push through,” Bell said. “Next year, I hope to win state for him.”

Senior Hampton Jenschke placed first at regionals and finished sixth in the state. Jenschke said in order to get first at Regionals, he had to spend as much time on the mats as he could between last season and this season.

“[I gave] my best effort every time I stepped on the mat, whether it was a match or practice,” Jenschke said.

Because Jenschke is a senior, he also said that the win doesn’t mean much for him moving forward.

Junior Cassidy King was a state finalist, as she finished ranked No. 7 in the state. King said the key to her success was that she lifted in the mornings and also ran at night to build up endurance.

“[Placing second at Regionals] helped motivate me for the next season because I wanted to place at State even more,” King said. “Our next season starts next week, but this time we are getting ready for freestyle and I can’t wait.”

What really sets someone apart from their competition would be their mindset going into each match.”

— Jacob Muñoz

The 220 lbs State title went to senior Jacob Muñoz. He said he believes what really sets someone apart from their competition would be their mindset going into each match.

“The competition is definitely tough, and because of that it comes down to who’s able to take it one match at a time,” Muñoz said.

Muñoz also said that everyone is a challenging opponent, so you can’t underestimate anyone.

“Mindset plays a huge part of it because if you aren’t able to focus on the match in front of you, then you won’t make it to the more important matches in the future,” Muñoz said. “[Wrestling] is definitely a sport that revolves around mental toughness and focusing on what’s in front of you, which is how I found success.”

Last year, Levi Russo-Bell, who wrestled in the same weight class as Muñoz, won the first State title in Cedar Park history. Muñoz said it’s nice to be able to leave a legacy behind for the team.

“[I followed] in the predecessor of Levi Russo-Bell,” Muñoz said. “I hope that we continue to find success in wrestling because of the potential the team has in the upcoming years.”