Brawley’s Savannah Gomez takes state champion resume to the next level, signs commitment to McKendree University wrestling
Brawley senior relives the moment she became school's first-ever girls state wrestling champion
BRAWLEY, Calif., (KYMA, KECY) - Thursday marked yet another memorable day at Brawley Union High School - as all eyes were on the first of two state wrestling champions to bring a title back to the community.
For Savannah Gomez, it was a day that highlighted her relentlessness to be a champion and strive for greatness - something she has already achieved, but is driven to achieve more.
With a packed crowd of support on hand inside of Bob Farrell Sports Complex, Gomez signed her Letter of Intent to continue her wrestling journey at McKendree University in Illinois - which stands as one of the top women's wrestling programs in the country at the Division II level.
This just two days after Robert Platt was honored as the school's first-ever state champion in boys wrestling.
Knocking out two birds with one stone, Gomez signed her letter with overwhelming applause from the entire school - but not before also being honored for becoming the school's first-ever state champion in girls wrestling in 2022 as a junior.
While Gomez is honored to hold onto that feat, Thursday was a way to relive the moment of becoming a champion.
"It did just feel like yesterday with all the support," said Gomez. "It was like I was reliving it and that's amazing."
Savannah's journey began at the age of 6 when she joined the Brawley Gladiators. There, she learned her skills and what hard work truly meant until she took the mat as a Brawley Wildcat.
And it was those early years that unleashed her star potential to shine - something her childhood coach Victor Martinez eluded to when addressing the crowd.
"It was tough. There were a lot of tears," said Martinez. "Myself and coach Ray, we were wiping tears. But her and her family's mentality to keep fighting and keep fighting led her to in a couple of years beating most of the boys. That resiliency has followed her from then until now."
By the time Gomez took the mat at Brawley, she exploded into a superstar, culminating in a phenomenal 108-2 record during her time and bringing home the CIF girls state title in 2022.
Unfortunately, her season ended short in 2023 after an ACL injury set her back - but not before starting 19-0.
But like the injury she had to suffer through that cut her run at back-to-back titles short, there was a lot of adversity to overcome throughout the years. Gomez pointing to the tears that coach Martinez mentioned.
"Crying everyday was really hard. Getting beat up by the boys was really hard, but it was something that made me stronger and the wrestler I am now," said Gomez. "I'm very grateful to have those tears and the losses that I took because it led me to here and pushed me to be stronger, mentally and physically."
At the end of the day, the common word to describe Savannah coming from each of her coaches and the ones closest to her: toughness.
A word that seems so simple, yet bears so much weight when succeeding in the sport of wrestling.
That being just one of the several parts of Gomez that has shined through on and off the mat - and in the classroom as a scholar athlete and person.
"I've never met anyone like her so far," said Brawley coach and Coach of the Year, Ray Leon. "Her mental toughness, physical strength - it's unmatched. It's something the other girls can look to and aspire to. Now the girls want to work just as hard as her and emulate her workouts. It's awesome to have her in the room."
Now, it's time to take the next step towards the future. For Savannah, that future remains on the mat - but she will not forget the impact she left in Brawley before she spreads her wings to Illinois.
"It gives me a feeling I can't explain," said Gomez. "It's very special to me to know that I'm the first girl where generations from now can look up to me. Where I can be a role model to others. I know this program will do great things with their kids and athletes, and I'm just proud to be a part of it."
Outside of taking her talents to the college mats, Gomez also has her eyes set on showcasing her talents to the entire nation and globe - striving to one day wrestle in the Olympics.
While wrestling has been her life, Gomez also has her sights set on a good education and a future off the mat. She plans to study sociology with the hopes of taking the path to law enforcement.
All of these components ultimately led Gomez to choosing McKendree University where she says made her feel the most comfortable. A place with many champions that will help push her even further. A perfect place for a champion, herself.