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Ocampo Wrestles to Next Level

April 02, 1998|VINCE KOWALICK

Olivia Ocampo of Channel Islands High last season became the first girl in California to win a varsity tournament and a varsity league wrestling championship.

Now, Ocampo has a new title: national champion.

Can "college wrestler" be far behind?

Ocampo, a 4-foot-9 senior, was undefeated in four bouts last weekend to place first at 103 pounds in the inaugural U.S. Girls' High School Wrestling Championships at Pioneer High in Ann Arbor, Mich.

More significant, Ocampo's moves caught the eye of Doug Reese, wrestling coach at the University of Minnesota, one of two NCAA schools to field a women's wrestling team. In lieu of offering scholarships, Reese said, the program provides recruits with financial aid packages.

Reese said he mailed financial aid material to Ocampo's home and is optimistic he will be coaching her next season. Ocampo said she is considering enrolling and plans to visit the campus.

"She is so very talented," Reese said. "Very crisp, clean technique. That's the biggest thing about her. She has the ability to win a national championship."

Ocampo, a martial arts enthusiast, made headlines in December by placing first in the Irvine tournament. In February, she defeated Hank Robles of Camarillo, 12-7, to win the Marmonte League title. Ocampo was 2-2 in the Southern Section Division II finals and finished the season 28-6.

"We're in the process of discussing," Ocampo said. "But he wants me to apply. I might be going back in summer."

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