Desiree Zavala

Desiree Zavala competes at an Olympic weight of 62 kilos.

GRANDVIEW — Returning from her recent 12-day trip from Poland, Grandview wrestler, Desiree Zavala continues to hone her skills with other World Team members. She is currently one of the top three U.S. female wrestlers in the 136 (62 kilos) weight class.

Her full-time training schedule includes practicing at the Olympic campus in Colorado Springs, CO. She trains on the mat twice a day while also incorporating strength training.

The former four-time girls’ champion in the Yakima Valley describes her philosophy behind building her mental strength by, “. . . believing in myself and being stubborn.” She understands as well as anyone there will be bumps on the road to success.

Confidence has played a huge theme in her life. Starting to wrestle by age four, she had to beg her parents and former coaches to allow her to participate. They didn’t think she was a good fit, but sure enough, the rest of the story is clear.

Her advice to a young woman aspiring to be like her is, “Be consistent… not losing sight of your goals and your vision… a lot of the time you’re not going to be winning and it’s not going to be fun.”

As someone who embraces the hard-work process, her discipline has paid off in ways she couldn’t imagine.

At 18, she competed at the World Team trials and did not make the cut.

Three years later, she found herself a spot on the USA Senior National team which has always been a big goal. She said she believed in herself and, “. . . knowing that it’s possible and doable,” she never gave up.

With a year and a half left of school, Zavala sees herself on track to become a collegiate level wrestling coach.

Her college and wrestling experiences so far include one year at Grays Harbor

Community College in Aberdeen, WA, and two summers with the Washington National team.

Inspiration is different for everyone, but who does the best of the best look up to? “I used to look up to Olympians and World Team members but now I’m right there with them.”

Zavala looks up to her teammates who push themselves every day, which has helped her push herself.

“Getting to know them has not only improved my wrestling, but my mindset with everything. They are so passionate about everything they do.”

Outside of wrestling, Zavala likes to hike. She played different sports growing up including softball, cross-country, and swimming, but none of those were like wrestling.

“I’m actually really uncoordinated, I don’t really know how I’m so good wrestling.”

Being a member of the National Team Senior Division is an extremely prestigious honor. This allows her to travel and visit different camps and compete with other world class athletes. She is currently prepping for her next college season starting in September and then her U.S. opening match in December.

Danny Sandoval can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 120 or email

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