116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Erika Brokovich recalled how her mom approached her about going out for wrestling.
Brokovich was in the middle of softball season and decided to attend a summer workout. A couple practices and a camp with former Cedar Rapids Prairie legend Barry Davis and Brokovich was hooked.
“I loved it,” Brokovich said. “I fell in love with the sport and I was like I’m going to do this.”
Brokovich proved it was a good decision, recording a notable decision over Cedar Falls’ fifth-ranked Lauren Nicholas in the Tigers’ 40-39 victory in a Mississippi Valley Conference dual Thursday night at Prairie.
Rankings didn’t faze Brokovich, who defeated Nicholas, 6-1, in the 155-pound match.
“I did know,” Brokovich said about Nicholas’ top-five ranking. “Going in, I was like rankings don’t mean anything. I’m just going to come in, work my hardest and do what I do best. That is what I did.”
Wrestling took a hold of her in the offseason. She opted for club wrestling over club softball in the fall. Brokovich started competing in the offseason, preparing her for the varsity without a single win.
“I got my losses out of the way for the real season,” Brokovich said. “I chose wrestling. It was probably the best decision I have ever made.”
The choice has led to 25 victories for Brokovich. Her win was a prime example of Prairie Coach Zach Becicka’s pre-meet message.
“That was a big win,” Becicka said. “We had a chat in the room that this team is tough but we’re tough, too. We’ve put you through some pretty hard workouts and you’ve always pushed through and I think that helped our girls.
“Erika really showed up and a lot of girls showed up tonight.”
Brokovich was powered by a big five-point move. She drove through Nicholas for a takedown and three nearfall. Brokovich used her natural instincts.
“She raised her arm and I just felt that,” Brokovich said. “I just drilled into her and went for a half. Half(-nelsons) are kind of my thing.”
The postseason begins next Friday. The Hawks will compete in a regional at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse. She has aspirations to reach the state tournament.
“I’m very excited, a little nervous as anyone should be,” Brokovich said. “I’m looking forward to it. My first one and last one of my high school career. I plan to come out hard and do what I do best.”
Prairie and Cedar Falls each won seven matches. Claire Hynek (145), Luisa Meade (170), 190-pounder Chloe Heefner, No. 6 Myah Rausch at 100, top-ranked 125-pounder Mackenzie Childers and Jade Hynek at 140 all had pins for the Hawks.
Claire Hynek opened the dual with a fall, while Jade Hynek closed the dual with a 2:17 pin over Penelope Ferrel for a 39-39 tie. The Tigers received the tiebreaker point for more forfeit wins.
“We’re proud of the way the girls’ have progressed and listened to us throughout the season,” Becicka said. “We’re starting to get some consistency. We’re peaking at the right time, so we just have to keep it up now.”
AT C.R. PRAIRIE
Cedar Falls 40*, C.R. Prairie 39
145 pounds - Claire Hynek (CRP) pinned Madisen Theel, 5:08; 155 - Erika Brokovich (CRP) dec. Lauren Nicholas, 6-1; 170 - Luisa Meade (CRP) pinned Rylie Nachazel, 5:11; 190 - Chloe Heefner (CRP) pinned Emmalee Sharar, 3:20; 235 - Briar Ludeman (CF) won by forfeit; 100 - Myah Rausch (CRP) pinned Annabelle Rohret, 1:01; 105 - Lauren Whitt (CF) won by forfeit; 110 - Hope Chiattello (CF) pinned Sadie Reuter, :36; 115 - Jasmine Oleson (CF) pinned Ava Rodriguez, 1:48; 120 - Destiny Hoeppner (CF) dec Karsyn Roling, 9-2; 125 - Mackenzie Childers (CRP) pinned Abigail Schlader, :28; 130 - Apryl Halsor (CF) pinned Lily Gearheart, 1:54; 135 - Lainey Schreck (CF) pinned Annalilia Vega, 3:34; 140 - Jade Hynek (CRP) pinned Pennelope Ferrel, 2:17.
* - Cedar Falls received point for winning tiebreaker criteria with more forfeits received.