Following an athletic career at White River High, Tatiana Molinero-Ceras headed to Pacific Lutheran University. In her first year of collegiate wrestling, she placed fourth at the NCWA national championships. At left, she stands on the podium in Texas with the top-three placers; each was accorded All-American status. Submitted photo

Following an athletic career at White River High, Tatiana Molinero-Ceras headed to Pacific Lutheran University. In her first year of collegiate wrestling, she placed fourth at the NCWA national championships. At left, she stands on the podium in Texas with the top-three placers; each was accorded All-American status. Submitted photo

All-America honors for former Hornet wrestler

Tatiana Molinero-Ceras placed fourth at the NCWA national championships.

Former White River High athlete Tatiana Molinero-Ceras has stepped up in a big way, recently earning All-America status from the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.

Molinero-Ceras graduated from White River in June 2018 after enjoying a senior year that saw her qualify for the state wrestling championships and win a state powerlifting title.

Now she is enrolled as a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and wrestling for the Lutes.

Molinero-Ceras was named an All-American after placing fourth at the March 14-16 NCWA national championships, staged in the Allen Events Center in Allen, Texas.

Her PLU coach, Kyle Foster, liked what he saw from the beginning.

“When I looked at Tatiana in high school, I saw some raw potential from a kid that just needed some confidence and a few adjustments in her wrestling tool box,” Foster said. “Tatiana has made those adjustments, is extremely coachable and if she trains in the off season, has a shot at a national championship.”

After starting the season at 170 pounds, the former Hornet had dropped to 155 by the time nationals rolled around.

Her experience on the national scene began with a pin of Catherine Morales of Liberty University (Virginia), a bout that took just 1 minute, 23 seconds. Molinero-Ceras was then dropped into the consolation bracket when she was pinned by Jessica Carbajal of Richland College (a large, two-year institution in Dallas, Texas).

Bouncing back, Molinero-Ceras pinned both Toni Rodriguez of Fresno State University and Sierra Fonger of the University of Maine. That placed her in the battle for No. 3/4 honors and she was again paired against Carbajal, a Dallas native who wrestles for Richland College. Carbajal took a 15-6 major decision in their second tussle in two days.

Molinero-Ceras’ PLU teammate Lana Flanagan, who hails from tiny Roy, Washington, eventually claimed the 155-pound championship. Together, they helped PLU to a ninth-place finish in the women’s team standings.

The National Collegiate Wrestling Association is a nonprofit association of 162 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organize the wrestling programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and exists to help promote wrestling at the collegiate level.

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