Centered Cayko will be tough to derail in quest for another championship

Dressed in her “cute but psycho” socks and her Eaglecrest High School singlet, Bryce Keiko finally made the serious face she needed for her photo at CHSAA Winter Sports Media Day. I got

The Raptors’ women’s wrestling senior star — the overwhelming favorite to win her second state championship — is as well-rounded and universally liked as the dominant athlete off the mat. When the serious side comes out (which requires a process), it means trouble for anyone who steps into the circle with her.

“I was trying to showcase my personality as much as possible and not look like all the other wrestlers,” Keiko said of her photo shoot.

“It looks scary carefree and there’s some fun in that, but at the end of the day, that’s how I describe myself right now,” she added. Completely relax your eyes, face and center yourself. When we concentrate, we tend to focus only on what we do or want to do, and nothing else matters. ”

Last season, she had one of the most dominant seasons ever experienced by a female wrestler in Colorado since the sport gained pilot status and was eventually sanctioned by the Colorado High School Activity Association. , could not derail the concentrated silkworms.

Keiko — the Slavic surname is pronounced “psycho” (as in psycho) and is a great “conversation starter,” she said when people find — Taylor Knox of Calhan at 185- Completed a perfect junior season with Ping, with Ping winning 32-32 in the Pound State Championship match at Ball Arena in February.

She was an All-American champion of the Reno Tournament of Champions and continued her evolution from a wrestler who placed 5th in her freshman year and 3rd in her sophomore year while battling the aftermath of her bout with COVID-19.
Cayko attributes his dominance on the mat to the way he can completely “center” himself.

Twenty minutes before the game, Cayko puts on her AirPods and turns on her playlist. This playlist is meticulous to ensure proper headspace against every opponent, from opponents she knows nothing about, to opponents like Knox, who defeated her trio at the 2020 state champions. Turn on playlists created in . double that of last season.

“It was the biggest change in my wrestling when I realized that you can’t rely on expecting a particular reaction from your opponent,” she said. I do a lot of visualizations to calm myself down.Before, I was just thinking about what-ifs, so by the time the game started, something was going to happen. I’ve been waiting for it to become complacent and lose confidence.”

Few female wrestlers can do that like Cayko, but she’s happy to be a mentor.

Vialpando (his first season as head coach of the Eaglecrest program) has a large group of wrestlers (coming from several schools throughout the Cherry Creek School District) this season, many of whom are new to the sport. . With so many wrestlers, sometimes Cayko sits in a corner for her teammates when the coaches are busy during tournaments.

She most wants to leave young wrestlers with the impression that if they want to be great, the work never stops.

“Sometimes when I tell them I’m actually working on something special, they say, ‘You just won the state?'” she said. “It doesn’t mean I’m perfect.”

Kaiko said she currently has no plans to attend a university that specializes in women’s wrestling, and may actually choose to try her hand at track and field.She is also a talented pitcher.

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