Motivated by friend’s passing, Satnick qualifies, competes in wrestling state championships

Before each match, Kira Satnick (12) jumped up and down, trying to get her body loose and ready. She felt her heart beat rapidly, but she was ready.

On the first day of State Championships for girls wrestling in Visalia, Feb. 23, Satnick was first on the mat, waiting for her opponent.

She knew this match was important. She glanced at her head gear as the words “#DylanStrong” shined boldly in black. During States and every match prior, she knew that her friend, Dylan Rutherford, her golden boy, would be with her.

“Golden boy” was a nickname that Dylan’s fellow wrestling teammates called him by, and became the driving force for Satnick’s last wrestling season.

In CIFs, she won four matches and lost one. She finished in second place and was able to go to State Championships for the 137-pound weight class.

The States match was vital to her wrestling career: both for herself and for Dylan, her “golden boy”.

“Before the start of my senior season, a good friend of mine, [Dylan Rutherford], committed suicide,” Satnick said. “I wanted to make it to State for him because I knew that his season was over forever.”

The moment finally came. She met face-to-face with her opponent, who was seeded second in the states. She knew her opponent was notorious for throwing, but Satnick had some tricks up her sleeve.

“[Weeks prior], I practiced over and over all the counter moves to throws,” Satnick said.

The whistle blew to start the match and Satnick immediately took the first shot with a double leg and a single leg.
Her opponent countered and they were back on their feet. The second period began and her opponent did exactly what she predicted. Her opponent tried to throw her and she countered it as she pushed her hands against her opponent’s hips and used her own head to put pressure onto her opponent’s head. She fought for the upper hand.

But her efforts soon fell apart.

“I lost my position and she took me down [onto the mat],” she said. “Before the whistle was even blown, I was pinned.”

Her last match for the season was over. She trudged outside the arena, and cried.

“I felt like not only did I let myself down, but also my golden boy,” Satnick said.

Hours passed and after thinking, Satnick remembered two main reasons why she made it to State in the first place: for herself and for Dylan.

“I learned to leave it all on the mat because you never know when it’s going to be your last time competing,” Satnick said.

The next time she exited out of the arena, she strolled out, proud of what she had accomplished throughout the season. Most of all, she was at peace knowing that Dylan was with her every step of the way.

“[Dylan] would have been proud of me for qualifying for State in the first place, nothing more,” Satnick said.

Within a couple of days, she figured out the girl she versed had won States for their weight class. Yet, she didn’t feel any remorse or rage. She was content. Satnick knew she had done her best for both herself and her golden boy.