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Caldwell wrestler, Marissa Jimenez, representing US at Pan-American Games

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Posted at 9:14 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 23:15:58-04

IDAHO  — You can't talk about girls wrestling in Idaho without mentioning Marissa Jimenez of Caldwell, one of the top female wrestlers in the state, and now in the country.

Jimenez placed second at the UWW Cadet Women’s Freestyle Nationals.

“I was really nervous going into it, I just kept telling myself I just don’t want to go 2 and out,” Jimenez said.

She did quite the opposite and instead earned a spot representing the U.S. at the Pan-American Games next month.

“For me it was crazy," Jimenez said. "That was the first time I competed at a top tier tournament like that and everyone is there to win the same as me, so it was a tough competition and pretty serious.”

She will match up against top female wrestlers around the world.

“For me, it means everything because at my club we have always been told that we should strive for further wrestling not just like USA wrestling but try to be a part of a world's team," Jimenez said. "Our coach isn't from here, he is really into international wrestling, so all of our goals is to be in international wrestling."

Before heading to Mexico, Jimenez will spend a few days at the Olympic Training Center, training with Team USA wrestling coaches.

“It just opens a new door for me knowing that I can compete at this level and hopefully continue it when I go to Mexico," she said.

But, even in between her rigorous training schedule and competitions, Jimenez is still making time to train other female wrestlers, and continue her work at growing the sport in Idaho.

She hosted a girls wrestling camp and is planning another one soon.

“I want to get a bunch of little girls together cause it is not common that girls practice together a lot cause there aren’t many of them,” Jimenez said.

She heads to the Olympic Training Center on June 2, and then to Mexico on June 8th for the Pan-American Games.