Growing up in a household where his older brothers wrestled and his father ran a children’s wrestling program, sophomore wrestler Jordan Gurrola considers the wrestling mat his natural habitat.
“I started when I was about four,” Gurrola said. “It’s always just been the family thing to do but ever since high school ended, I’ve been trying to go as far as I can.”
Gurrola leads the team in two categories this season with a 25-9 record and 10 pins. His growth and dedication on the mat have been noticed by Gurrola’s teammates and coach.
“He’s been improving every day,” teammate Brandon Vu said. “He works hard and everybody sees it. Whenever coach teaches us a move, (Jordan) will explain it to me real fast when I don’t understand it.”
Gurrola came to SF State with a successful career at North Torrance High School where he ended his last season with a 52-5 record. Head coach Lars Jensen knew from the start that the 133-pound grappler would fit well into the Gator’s program because of his dedication to improve.
“Every day, he’s Mr. Dependable,” Jensen said. ”He hurt his knee a little bit, but didn’t miss any time. He’s a very humble individual, very laid back and he fits well into our program.”
The success for Gurrola continued as he stepped foot onto the Gators’ mat with an exceptional 16-8 freshman season. During his freshman campaign, he had five wins by fall, placed second in the Under-21 Junior College Open and fourth in the Mike Clock Open.
Coming into this season, Gurrola had high expectations and took what he learned last year into this season.
“I wanted to do well and I was trying to be the starter,” Gurrola said. “Most of our expectations are still coming at Regionals and Nationals.”
When it’s all said and done, Gurrola said he aspires to be up on the same list as other accomplished SF State wrestlers.
“I’d like to have at least a plaque, a nice plaque,” Gurrola said. “Gotta have at least one and be up there on the boards.”
The Gators will have one more match up against seventh ranked Menlo College this Thursday before preparing for Regionals and Nationals, which begin at the end of this month and continue into early March.
“People underestimate him, but he’s won 25 matches already,” Jensen said. “We expect him to place in top four Regionals, go to Nationals and become All-American.”