Mitchell: Pfau stays true to herself in winning national title
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
Not a whole lot has changed in the past two years when it comes to Grand Valley High School graduate Cody Pfau.
She still has an unending drive to win. She still has a seemingly endless desire to get better. And, for the most part, she still has a goal to be first — at everything.
“I wanted to be the first one to post the news on Facebook,” said Pfau, speaking of the national championship she won at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships in St. Louis on Feb. 14. “Then I found out that my dad [Doug] got to it first. I was just like, ‘C’mon man!’”
Cody Pfau wound up first where it really mattered, though. Her pin of Simon Fraiser’s Abby Lloyd at the 2-minute, 45-second mark of the 109-pound national championship match left her atop the podium for her first collegiate national title.
Of course, the sophomore at Oklahoma City University had accomplished plenty even before she won this title. She’s claimed gold medals at national wrestling tournaments and even won a silver medal at the Pan Am Games wrestling tournament in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in 2012.
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With this title, she capped a 34-1 regular-season record. She’s only lost twice in her two years of college, finishing 18-1 as a freshman on her way to a fourth-place finish at the national tournament.
And the way that Pfau sees it, that’s still not good enough.
“That girl who I lost to, well, I shouldn’t have lost to her,” Pfau said in a matter-of-fact tone.
That drive to always be better made Oklahoma City University a good fit for her, especially if someone considers how many people become products of their environments.
Humility is one of the things that former Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos preached when he was the program’s head coach — a philosophy that longtime assistant and now head coach Ryan Frink still employs with the team. So when Pfau, as a senior, won three tournament weight-class championships and finished second place at 106 pounds at the Cardinals’ regional tournament that was held in Parachute, her goal was only to get better. Even when she became the first girl to reach the championship bracket of the state wrestling tournament in Denver, she didn’t think it was a big deal. The bigger deal to her was how, by the end of the tournament, she finished 2-2 and didn’t place.
Still, she’s the first girl to reach the state quarterfinals at any classification. One other girl has done it since then, but nobody else can say they were first.
That’s what likely made Oklahoma City University — winners of four national team titles — such a good fit for her. What added to that was Pfau’s wrestling partner, teammate Emily Webster, claimed the 1-1-pound title for her fourth national championship.
So, basically, Pfau has walked the proverbial walk ever since high school, letting her actions speak louder than her words.
She’s setting her sights even higher now. Her goal — her lofty goal, that is — is to go unbeaten for the remainder of her time in college. Another goal, which seems a little more attainable now, would be to stand atop a podium with the “Star Spangled Banner” playing.
Until then, however, Pfau plans to keep practicing what she preaches. That, plus her overall intensity, hasn’t changed a bit.
“A lot of girls will say how bad they want something but aren’t willing to follow through with any of the hard work that comes with it,” Pfau said. “I’m doing everything I can to work and train as hard as I can and let my actions speak for themselves. It’s all a matter of who wants it more.”
Jon Mitchell is the sports editor of The Citizen Telegram and Glenwood Springs Post Independent. He can be reached at 970-384-9123.
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