Sisters Brittany and Brienna Delgado began their wrestling training a little early this year when they chased down a suspected hit-and-run driver Saturday and used wrestling moves to hold him until police arrived.
“We do several moves where you stop your opponents,” said Brittany Delgado. “My sister and I are very proficient wrestlers and also played football in high school, so we know about tackling.”
Brittany Delgado, 21, is going to be a senior and starter for the women's wrestling team at Oklahoma City University. Brienna Delgado, 19, is an incoming freshman and will also start for the team.
Coach Archie Randall said both are recruits from South Carolina.
The two were spending the last school-free weekend with their grandmother and were driving when they collided with another car Saturday at N Pennsylvania and NW 26.
The girls got out of the car and were helping their grandmother out when they saw the driver of other vehicle fleeing on foot.
Brienna Delgado said she started yelling and then took off running after him. Her sister followed.
“When I was chasing him I was still yelling, ‘You need to come back,'” she said. “I wasn't wearing the proper footwear. I got a little road rash when I tackled him.”
She said the man landed with his hands beneath him and she used wrestling moves to bring his hands behind his back. During the scuffle, she said she realized the man might have a gun or knife, so she quickly tried to secure his hands.
Brittany Delgado helped her sister stand the man up and bring him back to the cars.
“He wasn't stopping. If Brienna wouldn't have tackled him, I'm pretty sure he would have gotten away,” Brittany Delgado said.
High school memories
Growing up in South Carolina, the girls said they knew they wanted to wrestle at an early age. Their father competed in high school and it became a family interest.
Brittany Delgado said she remembers sitting at a wrestling practice when she was three and asking her mom if she could wrestle.
Her mom was quick to say no, but later changed her mind when she saw another woman on the floor.
“I said, ‘See mommy, girls do wrestle.'”
Eighteen years later, Brittany Delgado said she is a two-time national champion in the Women's College Wrestling Association and a former offensive lineman for her high school football team.
Following in her sister's footsteps, Brienna Delgado also began wrestling at an early age and played safety on the football team.
Coach Randall said she also played soccer — the only sport where she competed against women.
Since the girls have a history of competing against men in South Carolina, Randall said he's not surprised their initial reaction was to run after the man and tackle him.
“They're typical young women wrestlers. They're very aggressive and determined with what they're going to do,” he said.
Randall said Brienna had scratches and cuts on her knees but was more concerned about the damage to the car.
With school starting Monday and the first wrestling match scheduled for October, Randall said he looks forward to working with the siblings.
He said the hit-and-run story has become sort of comical and likely will be retold to their teammates.
“I think it's kind of neat. It amplifies their personalities,” he said. “They're great students. They've got goals to be Olympians. They're driven, and I think that was a normal reaction for them.”