CLEWISTON — Clewiston High School Alumni, Arelys Valles 2013, qualified for her third Senior World Team Trials for Women’s Wrestling.
Since graduating from Clewiston High School in 2013 and from University of the Cumberlands with her bachelors in 2017 and masters in 2018, Valles has been quite busy with the sport of women’s wrestling.
Valles took a year off from competing when she became a Head Women’s Wrestling Coach at Brewton-Parker College (BPC) in Georgia. At the end of the season, Valles resigned from BPC to be the head assistant women’s wrestling coach at Grand View University (GV) in Iowa. Iowa has been known for wrestling, along with GV being known for their success with athletics. Especially, with their men’s wrestling program which has won nine back to back NAIA National Championships titles.
Since arriving to GV, Valles has been busy as a coach and competitor again.
As a coach, GV has been busy building their program from the ground up. The first season was 2019-20, when the team was nationally ranked Top 11 in the NAIA Womens Wrestling division with multiple nationally ranked athletes. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the 2020 NAIA Women’s Wrestling National Championship was canceled. However, they were ready for a comeback for their second season. This past season, Valles coached NAIA All-Americans, Heart of America Conference Champion, Heart of America Conference Runner-Up, Heart of America Conference with a fourth place finish, UWW Junior National Champion, UWW Junior National All-Americans, U23 National Runner-Up, U23 All-American, Senior National Runner-Up, Senior National All-American, and Senior World Team Trial Qualifier. The program won the first Heart of America Conference Championships, and Valles was voted HOA Assistant Coach of the Year.
As an athlete, Valles thought of retirement until arriving to GV. This past year, Valles competed at two Senior National tournaments. In October 2020, Valles competed at the 53KG (116.8 pound) weight class and wrestled to a fifth place finish. In May 2021, Valles competed again to qualify for the 2021 Senior World Team Trials. Once again, Valles competed at the 53KG weight class and wrestled to a fourth place finish. Since Valles placed top 5, she has qualified to appear at her three Senior World Team Trials where she will compete at the 53KG (116.8) weight class. Originally, Valles was going compete at 50KG, however, the USA Olympian at 50KG claimed her spot for the World Team since medaling Bronze at the Olympics.
“When I became a head coach, I thought of retiring from the sport and just focus on coaching. When I arrived at GV in September 2019 it changed. The Head Women’s Wrestling Coach, Angelo Crinzi, who is my current coach and training partner is the one that pushed me back to compete again. He reminds me a lot of my high school coaches always pushing me to my limits, sees the potential, and most importantly believes in me.” said Valles. “I know my time is coming up soon for competition. I have been wrestling since I was 13 years old. This past 14 years, I have put my body though so much from all the grinding everyday, weight cut, injuries, etc. However, I am giving it my all this last cycle from there we will see.”
Wrestling has been a huge impact in Arelys Valles life since starting in 2007. “Wrestling isn’t a easy sport. It pushes you physically and mentally. I’m grateful for the sport and the journey it has given me. I’m excited to compete this weekend against the best athletes in the United State to claim the spot for the World Team!”