TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – A Taylorsville High School wrestling alum went on to compete in martial arts events, becoming a national and world champion. Now, two of his children are choosing to pursue wrestling; his freshman daughter becoming the first 6-A state champion wrestler in her weight.
Taking it to the mat, Cheyenne Ruiz and her brother, Joaquin, train twice a day, six days a week.
“This last year, we started training seriously and we’ve had a lot of success,” said Brandon Ruiz, Cheyenne and Joaquin’s father.
As first-year wrestlers, Brandon Ruiz is helping coach his kids.
“It’s been really good to train with my dad, he’s really good at it,” Cheyenne Ruiz said.
“Cheyenne was able to win a state championship…and then Joaquin was able to do really well,” Brandon Ruiz said.
Cheyenne Ruiz broke her foot playing volleyball, and she said after her foot healed, she decided to start wrestling, calling it “a lot more fun.”
Girl’s wrestling became an official sport in Utah school this last year, according to the Utah High School Activities Association.
As a freshman with no previous experience, Cheyenne Ruiz joined the Taylorsville High School girl’s wrestling team.
“It’s a good experience to be on the mat and I think it’s one of the best feelings,” she said.
Earlier this year, Cheyenne Ruiz became the first female 6-A state champion wrestler in her weight.
“We were in the finals and I pinned her,” she said.
“As a dad, I’m super excited for both of them. I think they’re doing great where they’re at right now,” Brandon Ruiz said.
As a father and a coach, Brandon Ruiz said he too wrestled at Taylorsville High, but did not win a state title.
However, he did go on to wrestle at Brigham Young University.
“All of a sudden, if you hit the fast forward button a couple of decades, it kind of took a long time to get that success,” he said.
He later went on to win multiple awards and several national and world championships in jiu-jitsu and grappling.
“It was pretty cool to tell people, ‘Yeah, my dad’s a world champion,’ Cheyenne Ruiz said.
This upcoming school year, Cheyenne Ruiz will be a sophomore. She said she hopes to win some more state championships and later go on to wrestle in college.