BECOMES PASADENA'S SECOND NATIONAL CHAMPION IN SEVEN MONTHS
by Robert H. Kelly
Colorado Springs, CO (March 11, 2006) Pasadena’s Marlen Esparza became Texas’s first national champion at the U.S. National Boxing Championships held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Texas.
Esparza, a junior at Pasadena High School, competed in the light flyweight division (106 lbs) squared off against Michelle Turner of Newark, New Jersey.
Esparza held a slight lead early in the championship bout, finishing the third round with a score of 14-12.
She continued to build her lead in the final two minutes and came away with her first national title, notching the victory with the score of 18-12.
Esparza's sports career is not just limited to boxing. She competes in cross country, track and swimming at Pasadena High School.
Esparza became the school’s second national champion in the past seven months, following fellow PHS student Kristine Kelly who won the 200 yard backstroke at the AAU National Swimming Championships in New Orleans this past August.
Esparza and Kelly train together on the school’s swimming and track team.
“I was very pleased for Marlen,” said Darla Kelly, Esparza’s swimming coach at PHS. “She is a tough competitor and I knew she had that championship fire within her. I know she will use this championship as a motivation to continue her training and find success in all the sports she competes in."