A day in the life of Cadet Pan Am Gold Winner.. Angel Rios27 Sep 2017
By Melanie Johnson - ICW Staff
It took me less than 5 minutes into an interview with Angel Rios to realize, she has set her own standards above the bar and nothing will stand in her way of being the best. Angel grew up in a household with brothers that wrestled and by the time she was 3 yrs. old she had decided she wanted to be a wrestler as well. Her dad’s first response was a big “No” but after a few days of a 3 yr. old determination, he gave in. His condition for saying "Yes", “Don’t cry if you ended up losing or get beat up on”. From that point on Angel has never looked back.
She wrestled in Club, Middle school and eventually started her Freshmen year at Roosevelt High School, where she earned her spot on the Varsity team. We took a little detour in our conversation and talked more about the personal side of wrestling. We talked mainly about what it’s like to be a teenager and try and manage a sport that is consistently demanding at the level she competes, schoolwork and just finding time in the day to have a little fun. Angel would like to attend King University in Tennessee. The GPA requirement is a 3.5 to get into King University and she is well on her way. Homework is about the only thing that will keep her from her extra practices. She is very dedicated to her schooling and mom adds “That’s why she has all “A’s”. We all had a moment of laughter when I asked mom, if she was nervous about Angel going so far away to College and she says “No, I am going with her”. What does an average day look like for Angel during season? Heading out the door in the morning, Angel takes a full day of classes, followed by checking her weight as soon as school ends and doing a little running if needed. She then makes her way to Roosevelts wrestling room with Coach Brandon Montoya and team, puts in a full practice there, and then heads to Top Notch for wrestling and boxing training. Most nights arriving home well after 9 p.m., just to get up and do it all over again the next day. Her mom Cher does all the driving, Angel doesn’t drive and when I asked her about not driving yet, she laughed and said that trying to reach the peddles was a small issue. Angel also replied, “Have you seen how crazy people drive out there”? So for the time being mom is the wrestling taxi. Weekends consist of a trip to the Colorado Springs Training center where more time on the mat takes place and even then, that can be a 4-6 hour chunk of the day including the round trip drive. I asked Angel if she missed spending time doing things that most teenage girls her age are doing right now, hanging out with friends, dances, etc. and she simply replies No. She loves what she’s doing and says “Besides that I don’t like to dance”. Angel is pretty much a homebody she states and enjoys her family time. We talked about the days when she is tired or maybe wants to take a break, but Angel relies on one of the biggest influences in her wrestling career to keep her going and that would be Maya Nelson. A big part of Angel’s teen journey right now is being able to develop the skills needed to feel confident about her studies, her wrestling and being able to keep up with the pace she has set for herself. Coach Montoya of the Roosevelt Rough Riders High School Program has nothing but praise for Angel’s work ethic. He states that he doesn’t want to take credit for Angel’s wrestling abilities. In his words “Angel came into our room already knowing how to wrestle and she was already a good wrestler” He also feels that she brings the level of intensity up in the room and always comes to the wrestling room ready to work. She definitely sets the stage for teammates wanting to be better wrestlers and Coach Montoya wanting to be a better coach. Angel recently brought home the Gold from the Cadet Pan Ams and next up for Rios is focusing on her High School season. With the help of her family and guidance from Coaches and friends, Angel sees the rigorous day to day wrestling schedule, not as a struggle or any kind of inconvenience interrupting her teen years but just a normal routine in her life. It is all a part of Angel wanting to be able to reach her goals and be the best at what she does.
In parting Angel had a few words of advice when asked what she would tell, not only young wrestlers, but anyone looking to achieve their goals. Don't be afraid to follow your passion, train hard and last but not least, don’t forget to have some fun! To Angel, this is fun and she couldn’t imagine life any other way.
Good luck Angel Rios in your upcoming season, Insidecoloradowrestling will be there cheering you on.