#TeamUSATuesday: Women's Freestyle World Team member Jacarra Winchester

By JD Rader, USA Wrestling | Aug. 20, 2019, 1:54 p.m. (ET)

Jacarra Winchester is currently the No. 1 wrestler at 55 kg/121 lbs. for Team USA’s Women’s Freestyle National Team.

This is her second-straight year making a World Team. At last year’s World Championships, she finished in fifth-place.

In April, Winchester won her second-straight U.S. Open title when she defeated Areana Villaescusa by technical fall 10-0.

Winchester had a lot of success while at Missouri Valley College as well. She was a WCWA Nationals champion in 2015 and a University World bronze medalist in 2014.

Winchester took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions.

What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Year One because it’s a really funny movie. It’s a dumb humor, and I like stuff like that.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
My favorite musical artist would have to be Rihanna. She has a lot of music that you can sing to and dance to in the shower.

What is your favorite food?
Chicken wings. Buffalo Wild Wings is my favorite.

Did you play any other sports growing up?
I did cross country, but I don’t like to run, so that didn’t work out.

Who is your favorite wrestler, either past or present, to watch?
My favorite wrestler would be Clarissa Chun because she is awesome. She’s so good and has an answer for everything. She’s just an amazing person.

What is your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
That would have to be Spain because it’s always warm. Plus, on our way to the venue, there’s a dog park and I loved that. We would go there every day.

What are some of your hobbies off of the mat?
I like to play video games, crochet, and paint my nails.

What was your major in college?
Accounting was my major because I actually thought I was getting my money’s worth.

Do you have plans once your wrestling career is over?
I plan on doing some fitness modeling.

How did you first get involved in wrestling?
I used to fight a lot, so it was a good way to release my anger. I used to get in trouble a lot, but during wrestling season I could beat people up and get glorified for it.

How would you say wrestling has impacted your life?
It has made me a more responsible and disciplined person. It has also helped me realize I could do more than I thought I could.

You’ve made some pretty big improvements over the past two years of your career. What would you accredit that to?
Having good coaches that focus on me, especially having a good personal coach in Clarissa Chun. She stopped competing, and when she stopped, she was really able to focus on individual work and the stuff I needed help with. Also, having good partners. I didn’t have the best partners before. And lastly, just living here at the Olympic Training Center, you’re set up set up for greatness.

What kind of advice would you give a younger wrestler?
Do not cut weight, focus on getting better at wrestling. So many kids cut weight, and then they do horrible. If I was to give advice, I’d say don’t cut weight. Just get better at wrestling.

Do you have any pre-match rituals you try and do before every match?
I just dance a little to get my mind off of wresting.

How would you describe your wrestling style?
I would say my wrestling style is unorthodox because I shoot to both sides and I don’t really have a lead leg. My left leg used to be my lead leg, but then I had surgery, so my right leg turned into my lead leg. So, I don’t really have a set or go to stuff, I just do whatever.

What does it mean to you to be able to represent the U.S. at the World Championships?
It means everything. I get to represent my country and not a lot of people make it to this level. A lot of people go years and years and never make a World or Olympic Team, so it really means a lot. Even if I don’t win a World Championship, it shows me I accomplished a lot more than I thought I could.

The Winchester file
Birthday: October 19, 1992
Hometown: San Leandro, Calif.
High school: Arroyo High School
College: Missouri Valley
Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Club: TMWC
Twitter: @Jacarra016
Instagram: @jacarra016

  • Two-time World Team member (2019, 2018)
  • Two-time U.S. Open champion (2019, 2018)
  • Three-time World Team Trials bronze medalist (2017, 2016, 2014)
  • WCWA Nationals champion (2015)
  • University World bronze medalist (2014)
  • University Nationals champion (2014)
  • California CIF Girls State champion (2010)