WRESTLING

Munoz signs national letter of intent to Oklahoma City University

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC − Hoping to continue her already prestigious wrestling career, Aztec High School senior Makayla Munoz signed her national letter of intent this week to pursue her educational goals at Oklahoma City University.

Munoz, a three-time state champion who currently is working this season to winning a state title in each of her four years as a student at Aztec High School, was joined by family and coaches earlier this week to announce she was joining the Stars women's wrestling program.

"One of the things that most excited me was the strength of their wrestling program," Munoz said earlier this week. "They've got a great team, a great family and coaching staff that shares my goals and dreams."

The Oklahoma City University women's wrestling program is coached by Nicole Tyson, a graduate of the school in 2011 and national champion in her senior year.

"I loved that (Tyson) was very passionate about her job and worked with the girls individually and I knew that's what I wanted in a program," Munoz said.

Tyson has extensive experience competing on the international stage. She collected a 2006 junior world championship and a 2008 junior Pan Am championship in high school in Maryland.

In 2011, Tyson was a member of the Senior Pan Am Team, and a Senior National finalist while qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials. She placed fourth at the 2015 Senior National Championships and fourth at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

"(Tyson) is an outstanding lady who was one of the first international girls wrestlers in the high school stage," said Aztec head wrestling coach Herb Stinson. "They've put together a great program there."

As a member school of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Stars women's wrestling team is currently ranked 16th in the country and are led by freshman Avery Ashley as well as junior Sophia Smith and senior Destiny Lyng.

Aztec's Makayla Muñoz has her arm raised in victory after defeating Cleveland's Heaven Handy in the girls 126 lbs. championship match on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Rio Rancho Events Center.

Oklahoma City University is ranked as the third best women's wrestling college in the country by Next College Student Athlete, a for-profit organization that connects middle and high school student-athletes with college coaches. NCSA teaches middle and high school student-athletes about the college recruiting process.

Munoz had a chance to visit the university earlier this year, which allowed her to explore her opportunities away from home.

"To be able to travel with the college team is very exciting and be a part of that experience means a lot to me," Munoz said. "These are really fantastic people and I just couldn't be more grateful."

In the meantime, Munoz has her sights set on securing a fourth straight individual championship and guiding the Lady Tigers to a team state title.

"I want to become the first ever four-time state champion. My plan is if I put enough effort into that, then I get to be the best version of what I can be, and with the people around me who helped me achieve that goal."

The Lady Tigers will be back in action this weekend when they participate in matches at Moriarty ahead of a tournament next week at Miyamura High School. For more information on the Aztec High School girls wrestling program, check out their official page at MaxPreps.com.