Katie Gomez of Birmingham High wins freestyle wrestling world championship

Katie Gomez
Katie Gomez of Birmingham High poses with the hardware she won at the U16 Cadet freestyle world championship in Budapest, Hungary.
(Randy Miller)

Katie Gomez, one of the City Section’s top female wrestlers from Lake Balboa Birmingham, will have quite a story to tell when friends and teachers ask, “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Gomez won the U16 Cadet freestyle world championship for 53 kilos (116.8 pounds) by defeating her Russian opponent 10-0 on Friday in Budapest, Hungary. She earlier scored victories over opponents from Hungary, India and Turkey.

“It was an amazing experience,” Gomez said by phone Friday night. She’s scheduled to board a flight home in the morning.


Gomez, 17, started wrestling when she was 10, following an older brother into the sport. Birmingham wrestling coach Jimmy Mederios said competing for a world championship is something for which she has been training the last seven years.

“She’s really explosive and fast,” Mederios said of the two-time City individual champion. “She has a lot of offensive weapons. She can do a multitude of moves.”

Gomez hasn’t attended class at Birmingham since March 2020. There were no individual championships in City Section wrestling because of COVID-19 restrictions. Gomez should receive a hero’s welcome when students return to campus next month.

Gomez said all summer, “I trained. That’s all I’ve been doing.”

Asked what she’ll tell classmates about summer vacation, Mederios said: “I think she’ll come back and say, ‘I’m a world champion.’”