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Going Deep: It's an uphill climb as girls try to establish themselves in wrestling in Pennsylvania

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2012, 8:00 AM
STEFANIE LOH, The Patriot-News By STEFANIE LOH, The Patriot-News

There are girls, and then there’s Romy Marszalek, whose reputation on the wrestling mat precedes her.

pn_20120227184702-1.jpgView full sizeRomy Marszalek, 10, wrestles Alijah Wheeler in a 74 pound first round match during a youth wrestling tournament at Cedar Cliff High School
At 4-foot-6 and about 74 pounds, with mismatching green and pink laces on her boots, and painted fingernails – today, they’re blue, with yellow letters that spell CEDAR CLIFF when she puts both hands together – Romy strikes fear in the hearts of her opponents.

Well sort of.

There was the case of the boy who forfeited a match and refused to wrestle her because he was afraid of losing to a girl.

Then there was also the case of the boy who, as little boys sometimes do, dispatched his buddy to tell the cute, dark haired girl-wrestler that he had a crush on her ... only to realize later that he was scheduled to wrestle her.

This boy’s declaration of love unnerved Romy more than any trash talking ever could.

“He had his friend keep running up to us to say that he likes me, and he’s gonna kiss me, and he wants to marry me,” Romy says, grinning. “I was scared to go out there and wrestle, but I still did, and I beat him.”

This fourth-grader is already three years into her wrestling career, with a lifetime record that stands at 36-20. Thirty-three of those wins have come against boys.

Pre-puberty boys, though.

That makes a difference because neither Romy nor the boys she wrestles have hit the point where growth spurts and hormones set in.

Across town, in Red Land School District, sixth-grader Emily Myers is a newcomer to the wrestling scene. Her rookie season last year was shortened by injury, but she’s done well in some novice tournaments this year and finished with a 15-4 record.

At age 12, Myers stands a little closer to the point where physiology starts to make its presence known.

Her father, Eric, a former Red Land wrestler, says they are just starting to see the physical differences between Emily and the boys she goes up against.

In one recent bout against an East Pennsboro boy, for instance, Eric recalls eyeballing his daughter’s opponent and realizing that he was going to be tough to beat.

“This kid had wrestled since he was four. He had muscles, and you could sense she was going to have problems,” Eric says.

Emily lost that bout pretty quickly, though her father applauded her effort. But that’s the sort of thing that makes Eric wonder if there’s an unfortunate shelf life to Emily’s wrestling career

pn_20120302143700-10.jpgView full sizeEmily Myers, 12, takes a breather during wrestling practice at Red Land High School last week.
Unless there comes a day where girls in Pennsylvania will get to wrestle other girls in a separate girls’ scholastic wrestling circuit, this will always be a problem for budding female wrestlers hoping to stick with the sport all through high school.”My biggest fear is that coming into being a teenager, boys will tend to start getting a little bit stronger, and things like that,” Eric says. I do think she could compete at the high school level, but I don’t know how she would do.”

Lisa has sometimes found herself wondering the same thing about her daughter, Romy. Even though she has pledged to support her spunky, vivacious daughter in any athletic endeavor she decides to take on, there’s a part of her that wonders when the biology will start to get in the way of Romy’s progress on the mat.

“When they’re young, they’re all just kids, and they’re all kind of built the same,” Lisa says.

“As their bodies change, so do their muscular structures and all that stuff. So my concern is that it’s going to become harder and harder for her to continue to wrestle as the boys become more boy-like and she becomes more girl-like.

“I don’t know how long she’ll be able to continue being a female wrestler in a boy’s wrestling world.”

Almost 40 years after the passage of Title IX, in an era where just about every boys’ sport now has a girls’ equivalent, girls are still a rarity in the wrestling room.

But that is slowly changing.

Alaska’s Michaela Hutchison stamped her name in the record books in 2006 when she fought her way to a state title in the 103-pound weight class.

In 2011, Cassy Herkelman made national headlines when she became the first girl to win a match in the Iowa state championship tournament when her male opponent forfeited, citing personal beliefs that prevented him from wrestling a girl.

Last month, Bloomington, Ind., native Kayla Miracle broke barriers as the first girl to make to that state’s wrestling tournament final.

As these milestones fall, the profile of girls’ wrestling is growing. When Hutchison won her state title in 2006, Texas and Hawaii were the only two states in the nation that offered girls’ wrestling as a high school varsity sport, with official state championship tournaments in place.

Today, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, five states now sponsor girls’ wrestling championships, and the organization’s participation numbers show that the number of girls in wrestling has increased 40 percent since 2004.

That was the year women’s wrestling was accepted in the Olympics as a medal sport, which, many say, accelerated the growth of the sport among girls in the United States.

“Since then we’ve gotten more publicity, and it’s beginning to build,” says Ron Tirpak, who’s coached the U.S. women’s World Cup wrestling teams for the last two years. “Local colleges have picked up on it and it’s becoming more popular.”

He says he believes that women’s wrestling is poised for takeoff, and he would like Pennsylvania to get with the program.

Tirpak is also the founder of the Swarthmore-based Women Only Wrestling — the only exclusively women’s wrestling club east of the Mississippi.

Emily Myers is one of his wrestlers, as is Jennifer Chu, a former junior national champion who is now spearheading the movement to increase the number of female wrestlers in Pennsylvania.

As the women’s wrestling director of the Pennsylvania Amateur Wrestling Federation, Chu was instrumental in organizing the inaugural Pennsylvania Girls’ State Wrestling Championships, which will take place at Susquehanna Twp. High School this Sunday.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” says Chu, a Philadelphia native who started a women’s club wrestling team during her senior year of high school, then continued with the sport through college. “I think the number of girls [in] wrestling is increasing, but it’s a Catch-22: you’re not going to increase interest until you provide opportunities for girls in the sport, but people generally don’t want to provide opportunities unless there’s interest.”

pn_20120227184703-7.jpgView full sizeRomy Marszalek, 10, is one of a growing number of girls in youth wrestling.
Chu is hopeful that anywhere between 100 to 150 wrestlers will compete in the tournament. Wrestlers don’t need to qualify, but in the interest of making this a true state championship, only Pennsylvania residents are eligible to compete.

“We’re trying to keep it as official as possible,” Chu says. “We’re having official weights, and if the girl is the only girl in her weight class, we’ll give her a gold medal and try to get her some exhibition matches.”

That fact that it’s going to be held in Harrisburg on the same weekend as the PIAA boys’ state wrestling tournament is also not a coincidence.

“We want the PIAA to take notice of it, so we’re going to hold the championships in one day, and we intentionally picked the Hershey-Harrisburg area and intentionally picked this date so that it gets noticed and people realize there’s another wrestling championship out there and that this one is all-women,” says Van Plocus, the state chairman of the Pennsylvania Amateur Wrestling Federation.

“Pennsylvania is the strongest wrestling state in the nation, but the girls have found themselves having to wrestle in the boys’ programs.

“I think in the next few years that will change because high schools will pick up varsity women’s wrestling.”

Girls’ varsity high school wrestling might be a little farther away in the future than Plocus hypothesizes, given the current economic crisis that has most high schools scrambling to find ways to trim their budgets.

Also, it’s not going to be easy to convince the PIAA to adopt girls’ wrestling as an officially sanctioned sport.

PIAA assistant executive director Bob Lombardi was not aware of this PAWF girls’ state wrestling tournament, and he says a motion to introduce girls’ wrestling as a PIAA sport would have to come from the member schools.

“Schools would have to embrace it and start it at the district level,” Lombardi says. “It has not been an agenda item with the wrestling steering committee, and the number [of girls] participating in wrestling at districts is very small.”

But Plocus and Tirpak maintain that the interest is there, even if this isn’t reflected in the NFHS’ participation numbers — which list the number of female high school wrestlers in Pennsylvania as zero.

“Zero is completely wrong,” Tirpak says, pointing out that in itself is evidence that there are probably a lot more female wrestlers in youth and high school wrestling than most state associations believe.

“Pennsylvania is the preeminent state in boys wrestling. If they go ‘zero’ with us, what are they doing in some of the other states?”

There’s some truth to that line of thought.

The NFHS gets their participation statistics from the state organizations, such as the PIAA.

According to the PIAA, they estimate these participation numbers by averaging roster numbers of teams in the state championships and multiplying that by the number of teams statewide.

Conversely, the National Wrestling Coaches Association gets their data from the results of a hydration test that every wrestler has to submit at the beginning of the season in order to compete. Their records show that there were 65 female high school-age wrestlers in Pennsylvania this season.One of those was Lower Dauphin freshman Amanda Vale, who wrestled junior varsity for the Falcons this year and who will compete in this weekend’s girls’ state championship tournament.

vale.jpgView full sizeAmanda Vale (in blue-and-white) was on the Lower Dauphin junior varsity wrestling squad this year. She hopes to get the Falcons to start a girls team down the road.
The Vales moved from California to Pennsylvania at the beginning of this school year, and Amanda and her eighth-grade sister, Brianna, both fell into wrestling because of their background in mixed martial arts.

Competing with the boys was intimidating at first, says Amanda, 15.

“I saw all these guys who were like, brawny, on my team. And I was like ‘Wow, I have to compete with that?’”

Over time she got more comfortable with her new teammates.

“They got over the fact I was a girl and started being nice and stuff,” Amanda says.

Her background in muay thai and jiujitsu helped her in the wrestling room, but the learning curve was steep, and Amanda didn’t win a match all year.

That’s not going to stop her. She has already decided that she wants to stick with wrestling for the rest of her high school career, and she’s determined to get better to try to keep up with the boys.

“I’m going to start lifting and stuff, and working on my upper body, to get stronger,” she says.

She’s also looking forward to next year because Brianna will be a high school freshman and she’ll join her sister on the wrestling team.

The Vale sisters, Romy Marzsalek, and Emily Myers are proof that there are girls in Pennsylvania who are interested in wrestling. But as long as girls are stuck wrestling on boys teams, it will be difficult for them to find success at the highest levels of the sport.

Amanda Vale would like to try and change that.

The enterprising freshman wants to approach Lower Dauphin athletic director Dave Bitting about the possibility of starting a girls’ wrestling team.

“I’ve heard from girls wanting to wrestle, but talk is cheap,” Amanda says, “If we had a girls’ team, more girls would step up and want to do it.”

She believes there are girls out there who want to wrestle, but the biggest issue right now is that the idea of wrestling against boys can be intimidating to both the girls and their parents.

These girls want to make wrestling the focus of their athletic careers, but they’d like it so much better if they could do that apart from the boys, and just wrestle each other.

According to, 35 Pennsylvania females competed in at least one varsity wrestling match this season for their high school teams. Those with five or more victories:
Going Deep: Being a Girl in a Boy's Wrestling WorldGoing Deep: Being a Girl in a Boy's Wrestling WorldRomy Marszalek, 10, and Emily Myers, 12, are two of a small but growing number of female youth wrestlers in Pennsylvania.Watch video

Women Only Wrestling:
Pennsylvania Amateur Wrestling Federation:
United States Girls Wrestling Association:

Pennsylvania Girls’ State Championship

When: Sunday, March 11, 2012 
Where: Susquehanna Township High School (3500 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg, PA 17109)
Style: Folkstyle
Format: Novice and Intermediate 1.5-min periods. Middle and High School 2-minute periods. If a girl is the only person in her weight class, she will receive a gold medal for that class and move up or down to a class for matches.
Divisions: Intermediate (first to third grade) -- 45, 50, 55, 60, 70, 80, 90, 90+; Novice (fourth and fifth grade) -- 60, 65, 70, 80, 90, 100, 112, 112+; Middle School (sixth to eighth grade) -- 75, 81, 89, 97, 105, 113, 120, 128, 137, 145, 155, 175+’ High School (ninth to 12th grade) -- 91, 97, 105, 112, 118, 124, 130, 139, 148, 159, 172, 198+
Weigh-in: 8-8:30 a.m., March 11
Wrestling: 9:30 a.m. till conclusion
Entry Fee: Online pre-registration $25 ( Pre-registration closes 10 p.m. March 10. Walk-ins on March 11, $30.
Spectator admission: $3 students, $6 adults
Medals: Top 4 place winners
Qualification: Open to Pennsylvania-residents only. No pre-qualification process; USA Wrestling membership required (available on-site or online at
Contact: Jennifer Chu, Pennsylvania Director of Women’s Wrestling


Girls' wrestling tourney this weekend

Three Des Moines girls will compete for state titles at North High.

3:05 PM, Mar. 7, 2012

Alahna Vetterick, Hamonnia Clark and Della Porcelli, all of Des Moines, have one goal in common: to wrestle hard and hopefully win this weekend at the 13th annual state girls’ wrestling tournament.

Gene Hildreth, a classroom instructor and physical education teacher at North High School, has coached a few female wrestlers in a preschool through eighth-grade junior wrestling club that’s part of the North-Hoover high school wrestling program.

North will host the girls’ state tournament for the third year.

“This is another opportunity for girls to display and showcase their skills on a more level playing field,” Hildreth said. “The atmosphere has always been awesome at our previous two events. There have been some great matches and, as always, these girls come ready to battle.”

Eight-year-old Hamonnia Clark shares trophy space in her home on the west side with her brothers. She’s hoping to add another trophy after this weekend’s tournament.

“Two years ago, she started wrestling,” her dad, Craig Clark, said. “She’s always done everything the boys did, and when she said she wanted to wrestle, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I think it’s real important to have this tournament, because as a girl wrestler, they don’t run into too many other girls wrestling in tournaments.”

Hamonnia has wrestled boys all year and took second at the girls’ state tournament last year, her dad said.

“This year, she’s looking for first,” he added.

Five-year-old Della Porcelli enjoys following in the footsteps of her dad, Anthony. The two, who live in the Highland Park neighborhood, have been in the gym together the past two years. The littlest Porcelli “picks it up as she goes,” her dad said.

“She doesn’t consider it a sport yet; she just has fun with me,” said Anthony Porcelli, 49, a 13-time national veteran wrestling division champion. Like his daughter, he began wrestling when he was 5.

“I wrestled in high school, college, nationally, internationally; I love it, but I try not to put too much pressure on her, knowing how much stress wrestling can bring,” he said. “I try to keep it fun while I’m champing at the bit, because there’s so many opportunities for women in wrestling now. You can get a college scholarship or an Olympic medal.”

Both dads harbor some concern about their daughters wrestling boys, but with two brothers, Clark holds her own, and with an award-winning dad, Della has trained hard.

“They have to work out with boys, but I don’t want them to hate the sport because they got thumped in the head by stronger boys,” Anthony Porcelli said. “But I want her to do well. If women can be president, they can wrestle.”

Hildreth said he always coaches girls the same as boys and holds the same expectations for both genders on the mat.

“We had a former female wrestler on our team who literally was one of the hardest workers in the room,” he said. “This proved to me that there should not be different sets of expectations for the female participants.

“When it comes to competition, obviously there can be a difference in body structure, specifically muscle mass, and at times this can lead to a disparity of strength, but that also exists between different male wrestlers.”

As a wrestling mom and tournament director, Jenn Vetterick looks forward to watching her daughter, Alanah, 12, wrestle this weekend.

Several boys from the southeast Des Moines family have wrestled, but Alanah combines dance class with wrestling practice to boost her skills in both.

“When we first started her in wrestling, we knew nothing about USGWA (the United States Girls’ Wrestling Association) until some girls told us about it at a tournament,” Jenn Vetterick said. “We make it our mission to tell others about it and hand out fliers to every little girl we find.

“I played sports growing up. As a firefighter paramedic in a male-dominated world, it’s important for me to teach my daughter that she can do whatever she wants.”

Alanah, who qualified for the state tournament at the middle school level, has wrestling dreams that go beyond this tournament: She wants to attend Waldorf College and join the women’s wrestling program there.

“Girls’ wrestling is growing, but it isn’t easy being a girl wrestler,” her mom said. “Having women’s Olympic wrestling brings more attention to it, and having a girl placing at the podium in the state tournament helps. But Iowa is a bit behind the ball with girls’ wrestling. In order for her to ... become a stronger wrestler (and) compete at the collegiate level, she has to compete with boys.”

That has led to some opponents forfeiting matches, “but we don’t make an issue out of it,” Vetterick said. “I would prefer my daughter wrestle just girls, because repeated defeats to boys may make some girls lose heart in the sport.”


Local wrestlers win big


Posted 3/7/12

Highwood high school has seen a growing number of girls taking part in wrestling over the last few years and this year it has finally paid off.

The girls came home from Rural Provincials in Bonneyville on Feb. 23 to 25 with the Bill Young Award and the girls 3A team banner.

“It was an absolutely brilliant performance,” said Mustangs’ wrestling coach Derek Markides.

The girls came home with two gold medals and two silver medals to run away with the banner.

“We actually dominated fairly well, we had a lot more points. There was a bit of a margin between us and the next girls’ team,” said Markides. “I knew there was a possibility of that before and as they wrestled it became more and more of a possibility as we went. They were beating girls they should beat and they were bearing other girls in tough matches too.”

Grade 12 wrestler Marissa Argue came home with a gold medal and said she was very proud of her fellow wrestlers.

“It’s my senior year, so taking home that banner just felt good as a team of girls,” said Argue. “We were cheering so loud we didn’t even hear how many points we got.”

Amanda Seto didn’t wrestle last year, so being able to come back in her Grade 12 year and not only win a gold but the banner as well is a special way to finish off her Grade 12 year.

“I was ecstatic, very happy. It shows our hard work paid off,” said Seto. “All our hard work and sweat really paid off.”

The girls brought home the award that is named after former Highwood wrestling coach Bill Young, who is still teaching at the school and coaching girls rugby.

Markides said to have the trophy back in its place of origin is something special for the school and for the team.

“I think it is a big deal for him too...I think this program doesn’t exist without him,” said Markides. “It is nice to have it back here. We officially have two Bill Youngs at this point.”

The girls were understandably excited on the way home and why not, Markides says they deserve it.

“I’m just happy, the girls were really excited and rightfully so,” said Markides. “They made it happen, they are all working very hard and were pushing to make it.”

Great showing for boys

While the girls may have come home with a banner, the boys had a great showing as well.

The boys came home with a gold medal and two silvers and a whole bunch of bronze medals as well.

Markides couldn’t have asked for much more out of his boys, many of whom took part in the tourney as part of the largest and toughest weight classes.

“A bunch of third places and I am happy with that in those middle weights, those are large, tough classes,” said Markides.

Many of the wrestlers are in the 62 to 76 kilogram categories, which means each one of them needs to fight hard to get to the final four.

“It’s a lot of matches in two days for these kids,” said Markides. “They were wrestling well and winning the tough matches.”


Lobsinger Takes Third At CIF

By Steve Langsam
Sports Editor

Monday March 05, 2012

Local Sports

Photo courtesy of Phil LobsingerPhoto courtesy of Phil Lobsinger

Alhambra wrestler Anastasia Lobsinger had a wonderful season, going 34-3 on the season, with 29 pins.

After winning the NCS Girls Wrestling Tournament and placing Third in the CIF Girls Wrestling State Championships, Lobsinger became the highest state place winner in Alhambra High School’s 48 years of wrestling history. “It felt good to get so far. It was a good accomplishment to get to the CIF Championships. This was my second year in a row getting there,” said Anastasia Lobsinger. “I placed seventh last year and third this year.”

But the road was not easy for Lobsinger. “I trained twice a day. I lifted weights, did cardio after wrestling practice,” said Lobsinger. “I practiced with the boys, I practiced with the girls, and I practiced with everyone.”

Lobsinger changed weight classes this year on top of training harder, “I moved up a couple weight classes. I became stronger since I started lifting, and my style of wrestling changed because of it,” said Lobsinger. “I don’t wrestle the same anymore because I learned more technique. I don’t just use my sheer strength, it helps me control the match better now.”

Lobsinger wouldn’t have come this far if it wasn’t for the help of others in her training. “I want to thank my coaches, my family and my dad,” said Lobsinger. “I want to thank them especially for pushing me past my comfort zones to become a better wrestler. People think that wrestling is easy, but it’s not. They don’t understand the demanding nature of it, cutting weight, training, it’s very physical, I want to thank all of the people who put their time into helping me.”

Lobsinger would also like to see the sport of girls wrestling expand, giving her more opponents to face in the future, “It would be nice to see the girls have dual meets against other schools like the boys. Not just tournaments,” said Lobsinger. “It’s fun to be on the mat, it’s kind of addicting – some what of an adrenaline rush, other people would like that aspect too.”

Though Lobsinger was not able to get first at CIF Championships, she is proud of how far she got, “My best victory this year was winning the NCS Tournament, I felt the most accomplished after that,” said Lobsinger. “I trained all year round, so I know I did my best.”

Lobsinger is looking forward to her junior year wrestling for the Bulldogs, “Next year hopefully I will take it, I will train twice as hard as I did this year,” said Lobsinger. “My ultimate goal is to win all of my matches using the moves I’ve trained so hard learning.”

Local female wrestler breaks boundaries and makes school history

Lashundria “Renee” Carter becomes first female at KFHS to go to State

Lashundria “Renee” Carter becomes first female at KFHS to go to State

Klein Forest’s Coach Jonathan Clark, Principal Patricia Crittendon and Lashundria Carter.

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012 8:00 am | Updated: 8:42 am, Mon Feb 27, 2012.

Local female wrestler breaks boundaries and makes school historyFrom KISDHouston Community Newspapers | 0 comments

Coach Jonathan Clark got the call he had been hoping for at 9 a.m. on a Friday at Klein Forest High School. Senior Lashundria “Renee” Carter had been given a chance to compete at the Regional wrestling competition, despite placing third at districts to become an alternate.

“I received the call saying if we could get there by noon and if she could make weight, she was in,” recalled Coach Clark.

Fortunately, Carter had maintained her rigorous workout schedule, so she was ready for the call. After working with her parents and the school, both Clark and Renee made it to the regional event in Katy, Texas, where she weighed in well under the 148 lb. mark.

Renee showed no hesitation as she won the initial match with a pin in the first period using a signature cradle move. Next, she carried the momentum into the second bout and won by a 7-2 decision. During her third match that day, however, Carter fell to the top-seeded player to move her into the consolation bracket. Regardless of the loss, Coach Clark knew Saturday was another renewed opportunity for his senior captain.

“I studied the bracket and knew that if she won this next match, she would go to state,” recalled Clark. “So the rest of the day to motivate her, I chanted ‘Beat Clear Lake, go to state!’”

And go the distance Renee did. With Coach Clark and several Klein ISD and Houston-area coaches cheering her on the sidelines, Renee used her favorite cradle move in the second period to take the match and qualify for State. The win not only secured Renee’s first-ever trip to Austin, but also solidified her in the Klein Forest record books as the first female wrestler to advance to the State Tournament.

“Making it to State was my goal this year,” said Renee, who began wrestling three years ago. “My best friend is who got me interested in the sport, so I tried it and really liked it. Over the years, I’ve worked hard and have gotten better with practice and discipline.”

In what was once a male-dominated sport, girls wrestling has grown in popularity among several high school programs in Texas and across the United States. Clark also noted that he has seen the interest grow during his tenure among the female students at Klein Forest. Aside from the physical fitness and competitiveness of the sport, wrestling has also taught Carter several life lessons.

“Not everything out there in life is going to be easy and come naturally. In wrestling, you really have to work for it because it is such a physical and mental sport,” she said. “I also try to be a good role model, for my younger family members especially. It’s good to know that I can have a positive influence on them and others.”

Upon graduation, Renee plans to attend college and study criminal justice to become a police officer. Although a long journey ahead of her, Coach Clark is confident Renee will be successful in school and in life.

“She’s incredible,” Clark said. “At Regionals she went from having nothing to having this great opportunity, and she really took advantage and earned her spot. I know she is going to go to college and be successful at whatever she puts her mind to, and as a coach, I am going to do everything I can to help her fulfill those goals.”

Renee joins seven other grapplers from the Klein ISD for the State event held Feb. 24-25, 2012, at the Austin ISD Delco Center in Austin. For more information on the tournament, click here.

YOUTH WRESTLING: CWF crowns seven girls national champs

By: Contributed report | Culpeper Star Exponent
Published: March 08, 2012

Culpeper Wrestling Federation sent eight girls down to compete in the Atlantic National Girls National Championship tournament in Raleigh, NC, over the weekend, and seven grapplers left Sunday as national champions.

Facing girls from 14 states up and down the east coast, the Culpeper girls had a long, tough day in front of them. Kicking off the competition was 5-year-old Isabella Hardaway, who recently won the Northern Virginia Wrestling Championships.

Hardaway wrestled tough and set the tone for the other girls for the day. Isabella won the national championship in her age group, as did fellow Culpeper wrestling teammates Jasmine Jenkins, Madison Healy, Jackie Clark, Lexi Nalls, Lizzie Sabio, and Laurel Engh.

Engh, a senior at Culpeper County High School, and Lizzie Sabio a freshman were the two high school grapplers representing Culpeper and both were crowned as champions.

Lexi Nalls, from Culpeper Middle School, led the middle school girls with six wins on her way to the title. Nalls, a 7th-grader was joined by fellow CMS middle school wrestlers Jesse Kirby and Jasmine Jenkins, both 6th-graders, as well as Madison Healy, 7th grade.

Jackie Clark and Hardaway wrestled for Culpeper in the elementary division. Congratulations to all the girls who work so hard and show such bravery in a traditionally male dominated sport.


SCHS wrestlers win 11 medals

Posted Mar 8, 2012By EMC News

EMC sports - South Carleton High School students Eric Lavigne and Serena Weatherhead are heading to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations wrestling championships in Peterborough this week as National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association (NCSSAA) champs.

Eric Lavigne won the gold medal in the boys' 83 kilogram class in the recent NCSSAA wrestling championship meet while Serena Weatherhead grabbed first place in the girls' 68 kilogram class.

They were part of an SCHS team performance at these championships that saw South Carleton capture two gold medals, six silver medals and three bronze medals.

Stefan Shuster finished second in the 47.5 kilogram class while Adam Crouch was the silver medalist in the 54 kilogram class. Brent Davies placed second in the 72 kilogram class.

Sabrina Calegeracos of South Carleton was second in the girls' 48 kilogram class while Emma Crouch of SCHS was the silver medal winner in the girls' 54 kilogram class.

Andrea Pretty of South Carleton was second in the girls' 72 kilogram class.

Bronze medal winners for SCHS were Salim Wasay in the boys' 61 kilogram class, Mike Ruhs in the 67.5 kilogram class, and Claire Krymuza in the girls' 58 kilogram class.


High school wrestlers perform well at regionals

Central, Peacock and Assiniboia sent wrestlers to St. Mary High School in Prince Albert on Mar. 3. Some of the athletes that went, in no particular order are Vicki Busch, Cassy Busch, Cortni Dixon, Brock Pearson, Seth Scott, Ty Nordick, Aaron Musikov, Keaton Bell, David Wilson, Maddie Marasse, Sinavere Tahiraj, Braydon Parsons, Peter Ntignee, Richard Simon and Taylor Wandler. Submitted photo

Central, Peacock and Assiniboia sent wrestlers to St. Mary High School in Prince Albert on Mar. 3. Some of the athletes that went, in no particular order are Vicki Busch, Cassy Busch, Cortni Dixon, Brock Pearson, Seth Scott, Ty Nordick, Aaron Musikov,...

Published on March 7, 2012

Three high school wrestling teams went to the 2012 regional wrestling championships in Prince Albert at St. Mary High School on Mar. 3 and many will be representing their schools at the provincial championships this weekend.

Peacock sent 10 athletes, Central sent four wrestlers and Assiniboia sent one athlete to the competition and nine came home with medals and 10 wrestlers will head to provincials.

Results from the competition:

Peacock did really well at the championships; Vicki Busch competed in the girls 53 kg category and placed first and will go to provincials, Cassy Busch competed in the girls 56 kg category and placed first and will go to provincials, Cortni Dixon competed in the girls 64 kg category and placed third and will go to provincials, Brock Pearson competed in the boys 62 kg category and placed fourth and will go to provincials, Seth Scott competed in the boys 110+ kg category and placed first and will go to provincials, Ty Nordick competed in the boys 110+ kg category and placed second and will go to provincials Aaron Musikov competed in the boys 110+ kg category and placed fourth and will go to provincials, Keaton Bell competed in the boys 110+ kg category and placed sixth, David Wilson competed in the boys 110+ kg category and placed sixth and Maddie Marasse competed in the girls 53 kg category and placed sixth.

From Central, Sinavere Tahiraj competed in the girls 68 kg division and placed first and will go to provincials, Braydon Parsons competed in the boys 73 kg division and finished first and will go to provincials, Peter Ntignee competed in the boys 62 kg division and finished second and will go to provincials and Richard Simon placed sixth in the boys 73 kg division.

Assiniboia competed in the boys 90 kg category and finished in fifth place.

The athletes will travel to the University of Regina this weekend to attend the provincial championships.

Cuban Wrestlers Gear Themselves Up of Olympic Qualifier in the United States
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 14:26

Camaguey-born Pablo Shorey will represent Cuba in the tournament in Orlando.Havana, Cuba, Mar 7.- Cuban wrestlers intensify their preparation for an upcoming continental Olympic qualifier, scheduled for the U.S. city of Orlando on March 23-25.

The national commissioner of the sport, Eduardo Perez Tellez, told ACN that a group of 14 wrestlers —including three women— will represent Cuba in the tournament in Orlando, where the top two finishers in each division will have secured berths in the Olympic Games of London next summer.

Perez Tellez said that the team in the Greco-Roman style will comprise Gustavo Balart (55 kg), Hanzel Meoke (60 kg), Jorgesibel Alvarez (74 kg), Pablo Shorey (84 kg), and Yunior Estrada (96 kg).

In the meantime, the Free Style squad will include Luis Ibañez (55 kg), Yowlys Bonne (60 kg), Yuniesky Blanco (74 kg), Humberto Arencibia (84 kg), Javier Cortina (96 kg) and Disney Rodriguez (120 kg), as well as female wrestlers Yumilka del Valle (55 kg), Katerine Videaux (63 kg), and Lisset Hechevarria (72 kg).

3/7/2012 10:56:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article
Central Valley senior Rose Moore compiled a 24-6 record this year.
Grappler finishes in top 16 State Girls finals
• Moore compiles 1-2 record

Jeff Benziger
Managing Editor

Central Valley senior Rose Moore finished in the top 16 at the second annual CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships this past week in Lemoore.

Moore dropped two of her three matches in the 114-pound division.

Rose would have been assured a medal with two more wins.

"It was a good experience," she said. "I had a lot of fun. I tried my hardest."

Added Central Valley head coach Rob Beckhart: "Everyone was rooting for her because of her personality."

Moore dropped her first match and never recovered.

She lost by pin (1:59) to Steele Canyon's Kayla Lam-Litle in the opening round. Lam-Litle took eighth.

"I was really nervous," Moore said. "I didn't wrestle good at all. Every match was hard."

Rose won 8-7 versus Lincoln of San Jose's Michele Olmos in the consolation bracket. Olmos was a Jr. National freestyle champion in the 17-18 class.

Bethel's Ricki Liang (third place) ended Moore's season. Rose lost, 4-1.

"She had a pretty tough draw," Beckhart said. "She still wrestled well. She's disappointed she didn't place. But she was smiling when she came off the mat. Her goal was to make it to state. That's what she did. I just wish she had more time."

Rose compiled a 24-6 record this year.

Moore placed fourth with a 4-2 mark at Regionals.

She took first at Los Banos and Bear Creek.

Rose finished second at Central Valley and Napa Valley.

"She was very focused," Beckhart said. "I don't have any complaints. She's phenomenal in terms of being a role model."

Said Moore: "I worked hard and was lucky."

Rose joined Central Valley's wrestling team in the ninth grade.

"I didn't have any expectations going into high school," Moore said. "I started setting goals last year."

Rose became the first Central Valley wrestler, girl or boy, to qualify for state.

"There's a lot to remember," Moore said. "I can't narrow it down to one thing. It's so sad this is my last year. I'm going to miss it."


USEOC women's freestyle wrestling program relocating to Colorado Springs

March 6, 2012
By MATT WELLENS - Journal Sports Editor ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - USA Wrestling announced Tuesday it will be relocating its women's freestyle education program from the United States Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University in Marquette to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

USA Wrestling said the decision to relocate the women's freestyle program is separate from any decisions regarding the men's Greco-Roman wrestling program at the USOEC.

"We are proud that over the past eight years, we have been able to help so many athletes to pursue their education and their Olympic dreams," USA Wrestling National Teams Director Mitch Hull said in a prepared release. "We will continue to work to provide more funding at the developmental ages, to put us in the best position for Olympic success, while helping athletes with their educational pursuits."

The USOEC women's freestyle wrestling program under head coach Shannyn Gillespie was founded following the 2004 summer Olympics. At the 2008 Summer Games in China, USEOC resident athlete Randi Miller won bronze at 63 kilograms.

The current 14 resident athletes have a number of options, including applying for the U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete program in Colorado Springs where they can continue their education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs or at Pikes Peak Community College.

Wrestlers who are not selected to be a part of the USOTC can either remain at NMU, move to Colorado Springs to continue college and train as a facility-use athlete or transfer to another university with a wrestling program.

There are 14 universities in the United States and Canada including the USOEC at NMU that sponsor women's varsity wrestling as part of the Women's College Wrestling Association.

According to multiple Mining Journal sources, Greco-Roman wrestling, as well as men's and women's weightlifting will remain in Marquette.

The USOEC's short track speedskating program will also retain a presence on campus, though nothing has been finalized as the university continues to work with each sports' national governing bodies to secure funding.

In August, the United States Olympic Committee informed the USOEC that it would allow its contract with NMU to expire on Dec. 31, 2011.

The USOC is no longer directly funding training centers like the USOEC or Petit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, but leaving the funding decisions up to each sports' national governing body.

NMU pledged to continue operating the USOEC through June to allow athletes to prepare for this summer's Olympic games in London.

The USOEC suspended its men's and women's boxing program over the summer after USA Boxing failed to fill its 10 openings.


All-Region girls wrestling

Stephanie Simon, Evergreen

Stephanie Simon
Evergreen wrestling

Photo by Troy Wayrynen

Stephanie Simon Evergreen wrestling

By Paul Danzer
Columbian Sports Reporter

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If Feb. 18 was the last time Stephanie Simon does battle on a wrestling mat, it was a fine finale.

In her third trip to Mat Classic, the Evergreen senior capped her high school wrestling career by capturing the state title at 145 pounds, pinning Lateah Holmes of Fife to win her first state title.

That accomplishment capped a season in which Simon did not lose a match to a female foe. Those successes make her the choice for The Columbian’s All-Region girls wrestler of the year.

Simon started wrestling as a sixth-grader at Cascade Middle School, joining friends Michael and Matthew Nguyen at practice. At first, she said she enjoyed the attention she got when she would defeat a boy.

“I guess by eighth grade I realized that it’s not really just about beating boys,” she said. “It’s a really cool sport that’s actually worth my time.”

Simon played basketball as a freshman at Evergreen, but said that experience convinced her that wrestling was the sport for her.

Girls have had their own state tournament in high school wrestling for six years. Simon lost to the eventual state champion and placed third as a sophomore. She was a runner-up as a junior. She plans to attend the Naval Academy after spending some time at the Academy’s prep school.

“The worst part is knowing that I’m probably never going to wrestle again,” she said.

Season highlights

Stephanie won her first state title, winning all four of her state tournament matches with pins.

Her favorite win was the regional finals, a 17-10 win over Charisse Jackson from Taholah High School. Stephanie was thrown to her back, but rallied.

Stephanie did not lose a match against a girl this season.

More about Stephanie

Stephanie suffered a knee injury days before the state tournament in her junior season. She wrestled anyway and finished second that year. She yet hasn’t had the suspected meniscus injury repaired

Stephanie was a top-four finisher last summer at a national tournament at Fargo, N.D., success she said helped her confidence. “I figured if I can place top four in the country, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t win the state tournament,” she said.

Next year and beyond

Stephanie plans to attend the Naval Academy. She said she will go to the Academy’s prep school after graduating from Evergreen.

“You’re the best in the state. No question about it. Just do what you do. Just wrestle.” Stephanie Simon Evergreen girls wrestler, describing her coaches’ advice to her when she worried about the state tournament

Rest of All-Region team

Kyra Batara, sr., Mountain View: Placed second at state tournament at 112 pounds.

Haven Camden, fr., Washougal: Placed sixth at state tournament at 124 pounds.

Rose Eram, so., Mountain View: Placed eighth at state at 265 pounds; regional champion.

Tiffany Hu, sr., Union: Placed eighth at state at 118 pounds; regional champion.

Mixtly Simon, jr., Battle Ground: Placed second at state tournament at 195 pounds.

Kassi Strano, jr., Battle Ground: Placed sixth at state tournament at 100 pounds.


The season isn't entirely finished for the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club, but with most of its athletes having wrapped up competition, it was time this past week to honour the club's top performers.

The club handed out a dozen awards at the banquet held at the Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre, recognizing outstanding work both on and off the mat.

Nolan Mitchell, a gold medallist at the provincial championships last month, and Maegan Kuruvita, a silver medallist, were named the club's top male and female wrestlers, respectively.

Heart awards went to Rowen Gillard and Rayne Hankins. Stefan Peruzzo and Chelsea Warke were named Most Improved. Kayden Dorma and Shae Mortil were named Rookies of the Year. Sportsmanship awards went to Justin Nellestyn and Sophia Murray. Gobind Sall and Hannah Lauridsen received with Inspirational/Leadership awards.

Several of the award winners are graduating, including Peruzzo, Sall and Dax Parlee, who received special recognition for his contributions to the club as a wrestler, coach and official. Also graduating are Jacob Jones, Patrick Large, Cameron Chow and Keegan Thompson. It's a bittersweet moment for the club to see such an accomplished group moving on.

"It's the biggest we've ever had," said head coach Nick Zuback. "It's sad to see them go. They've definitely left a mark on the club, which is nice to see."

Kuruvita, Sall, Mitchell, Hannah Lauridsen and Avery Gibson will be heading to nationals in April.

Nearly 100 athletes, parents and supporters attended the awards banquet.

"We've had a big increase in the club, so it was nice to see most of the wrestlers out for it," said Zuback.

The coach was also pleased with the way the event was handled.

"The food was amazing and the service was great," he said.

Several door prizes and auction items were donated, including artwork from Coco Jones and Brandi Caddell of Karache Designs, and a sports package with items from a number of local businesses, compiled by Terry Morrison.

The club is holding a spring break camp on March 18 and 19 for anyone ages 10-18 interested in trying out the sport. For info, visit or call Nick Zuback at 250-746-4056.


Youth Wrestling: Napa SAL competes in two tournaments

The Napa Sheriff’s Activities League competed in the third annual Hoang Van Thu Classic on March 1 at Hogan Middle School in Vallejo. The proceeds of the tournament benefit the namesake school in Vietnam as well as the memory of Vietnam Veteran Jimmy Guiducci, whose U.S. Army unit helped build roads in that area. About 139 wrestlers from seven different schools competed. The brackets consisted of pooled weights with four wrestlers in each bracket. All participants received dog tag style medals.

Placing first for Napa SAL were kindergartner Gabby Trave, 5, who went 1-0; first-grader Brandon Guiducci, 7, who went 2-0; third-graders Nick Trave, 8 (2-0 with a 25-second pin) and Jacob Guiducci, 9 (3-0 with two sub-40-second pins); and seventh-graders Alyvia Fiske, 12 (3-1 with two pins); Liam Weinstock, 13 (3-0 with two pins); and Mason Northrup, 12 (2-0); and eighth-graders James Kenny, 14 (3-0 with three pins), Alec Richmond, 13 (2-0 with two pins) and Dylan Peek, 13 (2-0 with two pins, in 22 and 12 seconds).

Finishing second were pre-schooler Audrey McQuarrie, 4 (0-1), first-grader Anthony Spoor, 7 (1-2), second-grader Dylan Smith, 7 (2-1), third-grader Ashton Heskett, 8 (2-2 with two pins) and fourth-grader Dominic Smith, 9 (2-2 with one pin).

Placing third were second-grader Natalie Scott, 7 (1-2), third-grader Ozzy Barnett, 8 (1-3), fourth-grader Aedyn Frazier, 9 (1-2) and eighth-grader Austin Gogan, 13 (1-2).

Napa’s fourth-placers were second-grader Leilani Frazer, 7 (1-3), third-graders Jake Clark, 8 (1-2) and Jonas Harvey, 8 (1-3), fourth-graders Danny Rogerson, 9 (1-2) and Konrad Fiske, 9 (1-3); and sixth-graders Kaeli Stephens, 12 (1-2), Daniela Almanza, 11 (1-3) and Tanner Smithson, 12 (1-2).

Napa SAL returned to Hogan Middle School on Sunday for the USGWA Girls NorCal Tournament, which featured more than 20 schools ages 5 through college age.

For Napa, Alyvia Fiske placed first at 125 pounds with a 3-0 record and two pins; Leilani Frazer was second at 60 pounds with a 1-2 record; Natalie Scott took third at 60 pounds with a 1-2 record; and Kaeli Stephens placed fourth at 114 pounds with a 1-2 record.

The Napa SAL Wrestling Club is coached by Captain Jean Donaldson, Deputy Dan Fiske, Deputy Jesse Ward and Mike Carollan. The club’s season will end this Saturday, when its three middle school boys compete in the 47th annual Tournament of Champions at Del Oro High School in Loomis.


Gasca finishes third in state wrestling meet

By Ken Robison

It wasn't how Javier Gasca III dreamed it, his armed raised in victory for third place.

But there he was last Saturday morning at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, his work concluded before the evening finals of the CIF State Wrestling Championships. Gasca, the Kingsburg junior who had come to the state tournament hoping for one more shot at Selma's Alex Cisneros in the 132-pound weight class, lost in the most cruel fashion in the semifinals on Saturday morning. Leading 3-1, Gasca was reversed and pinned by Gilroy's Nikko Villarreal with eight seconds left in their semi. So it was Villarreal, not Gasca, who took on Cisneros in the 132 final Saturday evening.

"It was the perfect match," Kingsburg coach Fredo Flores said. "Until the last eight seconds."

Gasca admitted he was disappointed at not reaching a fourth showdown with Cisneros, who had bested him three times this season.

But he was also practical. "Third place," he said. "Is better than fourth, fifth or sixth."
In the stunning reversal of fortunes, Villarreal used moves called the "reverse Bulldog" and the "cement mixer" to pin Gasca.

It was Gasca's only loss of the season to someone not named Cisneros.

"Forty two and four," Flores said, reciting Gasca's season record that included 132-pound titles at the Zinkin, Doc Buchanan and Five Counties tournaments. "The only losses were to the two state finalists."

Make that "state champions." In the final, Villarreal pulled off another last-seconds move to defeat Cisneros 5-3.

That's why 132 was considered the toughest weight class at the state tournament (15 of the state's top-ranked 132-pounders were returning state qualifiers).

"That's the way wrestling is," Flores said. "Anything can happen. There's not anyone untouchable." Yeah, just ask Cisneros, who was denied a fourth straight state title.

In his third-place match, Gasca broke a 2-2 tie with a two-point move, then a few seconds later pinned Victor Lopez of Poway with 36 seconds left in the match.

The third-place finish was redemption of sorts for Gasca. Last season, wrestling for Central High, he entered the state tournament as a top contender at 119 pounds but failed to medal.

This year, Gasca came to the state tournament ranked No. 3 behind Cisneros and Villarreal. And he made that ranking stand.

"You can always be ranked," Flores said, "but to come here and do it ..."

When the season began, Gasca and Flores discussed the idea of the wrestler dropping to 126 pounds for the post season. But as the year went on, Gasca became comfortable at 132 and relished the idea of going toe-to-toe with Cisneros, a three-time state champion.

They met three times. Cisneros won 3-2 in overtime at the Selma vs. Kingsburg duel match, 3-1 at the Central Section Division II meet and 5-0 at the Central Section masters.

"We wanted one last shot," Flores said.

Some wrestling observers believe Gasca could have won a state title at 126, but both player and coach said they had no regrets about competing at 132.

Not having to cut weight allowed Gasca to be "super strong and ready to go," Flores said.

"I faced lot of high-level wrestlers [at 132]," Gasca said. "I learned a lot from it. And it's more fun not have to cut weight."

Gasca was philosophical about the end of his season.

"I think I had a phenomenal season," he said. "But it didn't end the way I dreamed it would."

H Kingsburg's Regina Doi survived a health scare and appears to be on the road to resuming her wrestling career.

The sophomore passed out during her first match at the girls state tournament two weeks ago when her heart began racing. The incident was spurred by a heart condition.

Cee Doi said Regina was treated at Stanford Hospital last week and it was determined that she would not need a pacemaker.

An operation intended to control the electrical impulses in the wrestler's heart was not successful, Cee Doi said. She said Regina's heart condition will be controlled by a new medication -- which will allow her to continue her wrestling career..