For Cody Pfau, her historic victory in the opening moments of the preliminary round of the Class 3A state wrestling tournament Thursday at the Pepsi Center created a buzz that ran through the arena, but didn't appear to be that big of a deal ... to Pfau.
The senior at Grand Valley edged Ferdinando Martinez of Fort Lupton 6-5 at 106 pounds to become the first female to win a match in championship rounds since the inaugural tournament was held in 1936.
"Of course it was tough," Pfau said. "It's wrestling."
The diminutive Pfau, an aspiring neurosurgeon who's at the top of her 85-student class in Parachute, trailed 4-2 midway through the match, but used a takedown with 1:15 remaining to take lead and hold on —
"It was a brawl and I expected it to be a brawl," Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos said. "We prepared for one ... but she got a little adrenalined up and held on. She was running out of gas."
Pfau is well-versed with females wrestling among males, and all that comes with it. She has been competing for a decade on various levels and just missed history three years ago — as a freshman while at Meeker, she would have been the first female to win a match at state (in consolations), but Soroco's Lauren Bruggink beat her to it ... by a couple of minutes.
"I know," she said while laughing. "I do it, then she does it right before me. But her and I pretty much did it at the same time."
She's the only female who qualified for this year's field, "but that doesn't matter. I've been wrestling with the guys for so long ... it's not that big of a deal."
And after Pfau won, she asked when her next match was later Thursday. The joke was on her.
"I told her that she knew she only had one on Thursday," Gallegos said. "But she's always ready."
"Don't put that in there," an embarrassed Pfau said. "I would have wrestled another one."
Headed to Oklahoma Baptist University to wrestle and with an eye toward the Olympics in two years, Pfau said she "choked" at state as a freshman and junior, but vows to be ready to go Friday. If she wins in the quarterfinals in the afternoon, she'll advance to the semifinals at night, thereby getting her two matches in one day and making the final.
And she won't be defensive when she takes the mat.
"I can't be," she said. "You can't wrestle not to lose. If you do, you're going to lose."
Said Gallegios: "I told her that she's the best girl I'll ever coach. I'm so proud of her."