Name: Natalie Corona
School: McHenry, so.
Sport: Girls wrestling
Why she was selected: Corona won the 145-pound championship at the 29-team Waukegan Tournament to help lead the Warriors to their first team title in program history. Corona pinned Harvard’s Ithandehui Rosas in 11 seconds to win the title bout.
Corona was joined by teammate Sophia Brown (235 pounds) to win an individual title. Addison Hodges (115) and Bri Duran (120) took third, and Madalynn Sima (170) was fourth.
For her performance, Corona was selected as the Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week in an online vote. Here is her Q&A with sports writer Alex Kantecki:
How did you get your start in wrestling?
Corona: I began wrestling in sixth grade with my friend Mady. I’d always wanted to try a high-contact sport, so I took the opportunity to sign up. When I told my parents, they were skeptical but supportive. As soon as I walked into the wrestling room, the middle school head coach, Sean Mullen, welcomed me. Since then, he has helped me work hard to improve my wrestling skills.
How did it feel to win the Waukegan Tournament?
Corona: It felt great to start the season with a few wins and even better to win the tournament with both coach Mullen and Coach Buss in my corner, who greatly helped me throughout my wrestling career. It was very rewarding to see the team take home first place after all the hard work we put in. The support in our corner really motivated us to give our all on the mat.
What is the best part about being on the McHenry girls wrestling team?
Corona: The best part is the support and relationships we’ve built. It’s great being the biggest and loudest team.
What is one thing people don’t know about wrestling?
Corona: Wrestling is a very demanding sport, physically and mentally, but it’s a sport like no other and really builds individuals to be their best selves.
What’s your favorite TV show?
Corona: “Criminal Minds.”
What would be your dream job?
Corona: Definitely something in sports medicine.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Do you have any superstitions before a match?
Corona: I’m not a very superstitious person. I just always prefer to keep my music playing in my ears until it’s my turn to wrestle.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Corona: The goal is to place high on the podium at state in February and to maintain and improve my wrestling throughout the season.