Leah and Miah Torres producing for Blue Jay girls wrestling team

Leah and Miah Torres have been competing for the Jamestown High School girls wrestling team this season.

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Miah Torres wrestles Mandan's Nevaeh Verriano on Jan. 27, 2023.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — Until last winter, Leah Torres had no idea how the sport of wrestling worked.

"My family is not a wrestling family," Leah said. "My siblings and I have always taken an interest in soccer more than any other sport. It took me until State last year just to learn how the scoring worked. I still have to explain to my parents what means what and they take it in and supported me the whole way."

Leah, a sophomore at Jamestown High School, is nearing the end of her second season with the JHS girls wrestling squad. As a freshman, she placed seventh in the 120-pound weight class at the 2022 State Wrestling Tournament.

Prior to last year, Leah competed in basketball but due to a lack of passion for hoops, she decided to try another sport to stay in shape for soccer.

"A friend wanted me to come with her to the meeting for wrestling (last year) and when we got there, there was one other girl in the room," Leah said. "After that, my friend lost interest and so did I. Eventually one of the coaches told me that we were so close to having a team and they needed more people and asked me to at least try it out."


While perhaps a little reluctant, Leah agreed and the rest — as they say — is history.

"I know I have progressed as a wrestler because I’m able to help people that don’t have the year prior experience early instead of them having to learn on their own later," Leah said.

One of those people that Leah has acted as a surrogate coach to is her best friend and little sister, Miah.

"Miah and I have a sister bond that not a lot of siblings have," Leah said. "Watching her take a win or loss is like feeling my own win or loss. She drives me to wanna do my best in every match. We are wrestling partners and we warm up together before tournaments and duals. I appreciate her as a partner because we can both power through most things."

Miah said the reason she wound up joining the wrestling team was that she wanted to stay in shape for soccer but couldn't handle the pounding of basketball due to some poor arch support and bone and muscle problems.

"Going into my first practice I was nervous because I’m not going to know everything or be the best at everything right away, but I want to be," Miah said. "I’ve never gone into a sport without knowing what I’m doing.

"When I did soccer I practiced before I even made the team and the same with volleyball," she said. "When I first started wrestling I didn’t know if I liked it but I've kept with it because I don’t quit."

The fact that Miah has stuck with the sport thus far has spelled some bad news for some of the state's other 115 and 120-pound wrestlers.


"I have practiced and learned more about the body and more wrestling moves," Miah said. "What helps me win is usually the basics in wrestling. Wrestling is not all about strength or speed it’s about skill. Skill is how you win. After the first practice, I knew I had a long way to go and I still do."

After kicking off the year — and her career — with a pin at the Jays' annual Knights of Columbus Tournament, the wrestling newbie has established herself as one of the Jays' top wrestlers at 115 and 120 pounds. Miah is 3-2 in the West Region and overall Miah is 10-14.

Leah's extra year of experience and physical maturity has slotted her as one of the Jays' best at 120 and 125 pounds. The sophomore said she is learning daily how much mental strength is needed to collect wins. Overall, Leah is 14-12.

"Wrestling is one of the most challenging sports out there and you’ll never know how challenging until you’re on a mat facing a girl that wants to win just as bad as you," Leah said. "A wrestling match is 20% strength, 30% technique and 50% mental power.

"This sport contains people that are ready to beat girls and take a beating, but what you find out later is having the right mindset, you’ve already won your match 50%," she said.

With only two weeks remaining in the season, Leah and Miah's attention has shifted to the upcoming state tournament. They said they have both made it a goal to place within the top eight in their weight class.

The 2023 State Tournament is scheduled to be held Feb. 16-18 at the Fargodome. Due to girls wrestling only being in its second year as an officially sanctioned sport, every athlete will have the opportunity to participate in the tournament.

"I've noticed people are starting to take girls wrestling more seriously and it’s exciting to be in a newly sanctioned sport," Leah said. "People in Jamestown should know that we are here to work our hardest both for ourselves and the Blue Jay girls wrestling team."

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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