Pacific s women wrestlers ready to hit the mat

By Stacy Vance | Oct. 18, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)
Forget the clique that good things come in pairs. For Pacific head wrestling coach Frank Johnson, good things come in eights. This year Pacific has quadrupled the size of last year's women's wrestling squad to eight, meaning eight more female participants involved in a male-dominated sport as well as eight chances for victory at the Sunkist Open Oct. 26 in Phoenix, Ariz. Johnson, now seeing the payoff of his heavy recruiting efforts last year, is readying his women's crew for the first meet of he season. He plans to use as an indicator of where to take the team next. "All we know at this time is that we have a club," Johnson said. Assistant coach Matthew Farahani agrees. "One month isn't good enough to do everything we need to do to prepare. But our girls are hard wrestlers and they get stuff quick." The competition won't be easy in Arizona. Last year's No. 1 ranked women's wrestler in NCAA Division I placed second in the competition. With a variance of experience on Pacific's squad, including returning junior Jill Remiticado, the women's collegiate national champion at 125 pounds, Johnson said that this meet will help him gauge what skills need to be focused on in future practices and before the second meet, the Clansmen Freestyle Tournament, Nov. 10 in Burnaby, B.C. Currently, the coaching philosophy for the women's team is to "teach the basics and go from there," according to Farahani. Since the semester's start, all eight women have been on a training program that encompasses the fundamentals of conditioning, flexibility, technique, defense and setup. Before they can test this program on the mat, Johnson hopes specifically to improve the women's takedown defense technique and improve their bottom-position defense. Although it will take time, Farahani believes nothing is impossible when it comes to this team. "I have been surprised. Normally girls don't want to do the hard job, but these girls are tough, they want it and that motivates me." NOTES: The Pacific women's wrestling schedule also includes Jan. 12 dual meets with Menlo College and Simon Fraser...They are also scheduled to participate in the Canadian-American Championships, Mar. 23-24 in Detroit.