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Shot at Fourth State Title Just Kyleigh Lopez's Next Step on Journey Toward Olympics

Kyleigh Lopez has lost just one match to a girl in her high school career for North Medford. As she goes for her fourth state title, her focus is still on the long term: competing in the Olympics.

Posted: Jan. 31, 2019 8:39 PM
Updated: Feb. 1, 2019 2:01 PM

MEDFORD -- North Medford's Kyleigh Lopez is on the brink of yet another state wrestling title. 

"I like to say that I'm the best jand so, that motivates me and being on top and I have goals of wanting to wrestle in the Olympics, so winning state is just a small step," Lopez said. 

There's a reason she's seen so much success in her career.

"Kyleigh's a natural-born competitor. That's just how she is," Black Tornado assistant coach, Tyler Baird said, "I think she's been raised that way and so, she's always looking forward to that next challenge."

And that's why three state titles won't be enough by the time her senior season wraps up in February. 

"Obviously looking forward to watching her do it again a fourth time," Baird said. 

Lopez is going for a fourth state title in girls wrestling and this year is the first time OSAA is recognizing it as an official sports. Lopez doesn't much care about that. She competes mostly against boys in the lead up to state anyway.

"The guys are more competitive and I feel like that'll gear mre more towards the Olympian status, just competing against girls that are at the highest level," Lopez said. 

Plus, for a hyper competitive person, the bragging rights don't hurt either. 

"I would rather win a match against a guy than a girl, because I just feel like, 'Yeah, I'm way tougher than you,'" Lopez said. 

The community will be watching as she pushes toward the Olympics.

"Here at North, I think there's been a lot of tradition and a lot of pride you could say, so seeing somebody from here go on and do something like that would be awesome," Baird said. 

But first, she has unfinished business for the Black Tornado.

"I remember my freshman year looking at that, never thinking I could be a four-time state champion and now that it's here, I can do it."

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