Bettendorf's Goodale training with nation's best female wrestlers

Shannon Heaton | Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2010 11:00 pm | No Comments Posted

buy this photoJEFF COOK Bettendorf wrestler Roni Goodale wrestles North Scott's Brett McKinney on Jan. 28. The junior is in residence this week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she is hoping to be selected for an Olympic Developmental Camp in Sweden in March.

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Physical strength, balance and mental toughness can take a wrestler far.

But those attributes are not limited to men. Since 1999, women's wrestling has been contested at the world-championship level, and it was added as an Olympic sport in 2004.

Change, however, can sometimes be slow. Too slow for Roni Goodale's liking.

"I wish there were more girls from Iowa here," said Goodale, a Bettendorf junior, who's in residence this week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she is hoping to be selected for an Olympic Developmental Camp in Sweden in March.

"I would love to see more girls from Iowa. These California and Texas girls have huge numbers (wrestling, but only against other girls). But they're no good. They only wrestle other girls. If more came out from Iowa, we'd make a statement that Iowa isn't just a boys wrestling state."

Goodale is likely to get her wish - eventually. In the Quad-Cities alone, four girls have competed for their high school's varsity team this season. Though all largely have struggled to find their way against stronger male counterparts, all have made contributions that will go far beyond their wins and losses.

Her story

Goodale is one of the few female Quad-Citians to compete in a full complement of her team's varsity tournaments. Her fifth-place performance at the Mississippi Athletic Conference tournament, where she pinned an opponent, helped save a narrow team victory for the Bulldogs.

"The guys don't really react, but sometimes I can tell how the crowd reacts," Goodale said of those times when she's winning a match. "I can't hear my coaches, but sometimes I hear people in the audience talking about it."

This year Goodale has been joined locally by Erie-Prophetstown's Megan McCullough and Rockridge's Ashley Beckman, who never had wrestled before this season. She had been a member of the Rockets' wrestling cheerleader team, according to wrestling coach Dave King.

And just last Saturday, the metro portion of the Western Big Six had a female varsity competitor as Moline freshman Amber Link lined up on the varsity to replace the Maroons' regular 112-pounder, Adam Hay, who was held out of duals against Galesburg and Quincy.

"In her first match, she got the first takedown," Moline coach James Ealy said. "She got tech falled, but she saved us a team point. She's got a little fight in her."

Goodale's plans

This week Goodale has been under the eye of U.S. women's national team coach Terry Steiner, a former national champion at Iowa, as well as a Pan Am Games gold medalist. The environment of the training center was the thing that struck her most. She admitted she felt like a tourist at times.

"I'm taking pictures of everything while I've been here," Goodale said. "A couple of the athletes in residence probably were wondering what I was doing. I'm like, ‘I'm a teenager, dude. It's my first time here.'"

But she's also been surprised by the nature of the workouts, which have not been quite as intense as she expected.

"We spend a lot of time perfecting the moves we already have," she said. "We warm up, we drill, we go live for about an hour and a half or so, and then we cool down and we're done."

On Saturday, there will be an intramural tournament among the invitees that Goodale said would determine who would go to Sweden.

The future

Succeed or not this weekend, Goodale wants her name - one day - on one of the many Hall of Fame plaques found at the training center. Already, though, she's the subject of admiration from those in the know back home.

"She's really quick," said Link, shaking her head while admitting to admiring Goodale's technique and speed. "I'd really like to do this in the future and be that good."

Link will bring some company next year, with eighth-grade sister Holly likely to join her on the Maroons squad. Though McCullough and Beckman will have moved on to the next phase of their lives, Goodale will be around for one more high school season - and the next goal on her mind.

"I really want to be the first girl from Iowa to qualify for state," she said.


Notable female wresters in Iowa and Illinois:

Atina Bibbs, Davenport Central: The daughter of Mel Bibbs, who was then Central's coach, she was a regular in the Blue Devils' lineup in 1992-93 and attracted national media attention when she wrestled another girl, Stacy Light of Lisbon, in a dual meet at George Marshall Gym. Bibbs won the 112-pound match 14-5.

Mary Kelly, Mahomet-Seymour: One of the first high school-aged girls to achieve significant success as a varsity wrestler. Coming from a family with a long wrestling tradition, her best finish was fourth at a Class AA sectional - just short of qualifying for state.

Caitlyn Chase, Glenbard North: In 2004, her senior year, Chase became the first female to qualify for the Illinois state tournament. A season earlier, her pin at Moline's Wharton Field House helped preserve a dual victory over Dundee-Crown in the Class AA third-place match.

Alli Ragan, Carbondale: Currently an honorable mention pick on, Ragan broke the 100-victory mark for her career earlier this season.

Tiffany Sluik, Mason City: The all-time Iowa girls' leader in victories, Sluik once placed third at districts.

Heather Morley, Urbandale: The first girl to participate in the Iowa state team duals tournament, getting a pin in 2005.


MVC Round-up: Four Lady Vikings earn all-America honors

Thursday, February 4, 2010
By CHRIS ALLEN/Sports editor
Valley junior Venus Barron won three of five matches to place seventh in the 72-kilogram division at the WCWA Nationals.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
[Click to enlarge] [Order this photo]
Four Missouri Valley College athletes claimed all-America status by placing in the top six of their weight classes in the Women's College Wrestling Association National Championships held Saturday in the Burns Athletic Center.

Freshman Randi Beltz led the Lady Vikings with a second-place performance. The top-ranked grappler from St. Clair won her first three bouts in the 59-kilogram class, two by fall, before meeting No. 2 Missouri Baptist freshman Helen Maroulis in the finals, dropping a narrow 2-2, 2-1, 3-0 decision.

Freshman Jordan Hagerman (82 kilograms) split her first four matches, pinning one opponent, before stopping Jamestown (N.D.) freshman Justina Laufalamana with two seconds remaining in the second round for fifth place.

Valley had two sixth-place showings: freshman Keeya Skyes (44) splitting her first two matches prior to a 6-9, 3-1 to Cumberlands (Ky.) freshman J. Elise Woodruff in the trophy match and sophomore Britney Heatherly (48) also going 2-2 before being pinned midway through the second period by sophomore Jessica Nguyen, also of the Lady Patriots.

Junior Venus Barron (72) won her seventh-place match, but sophomore Brittany Bertolani (51) had to withdrawal from hers due to injury.

The Lady Vikings placed sixth in the 12-team, 150-wrestler field with 23 points. Oklahoma City easily took the team title with 124 points, well ahead of Cumberlands' 76 points for second and the 70 points tallied by Simon Fraser (B.C.) for third.

At a banquet the previous evening, Heatherly and junior Rachel Pike of Valley received WCWA Academic all-America honors.

The Lady Vikings are on hiatus until the spring, when they will compete in the USA Wrestling University Nationals, April 10 at Akron, Ohio.


Athletes of the Week

Brittany Delgado
Brittany Delgado Women's Wrestling 2/1/2010 Link to Full Bio

Nothing was going to stop Brittany Delgado from winning a national championship this year, not even the flu.

Delgado, a sophomore from Fountain Inn, S.C., is this week’s Super Star of the Week after overcoming illness to defeat Jessica Scott of Cumberlands (Ky.) in the 95-kilogram finals in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national championships this past weekend.  Oklahoma City University repeated as WCWA national champions.

“Friday and Saturday I was physically sick, and I had to wrestle not at my best,” Delgado said. “It feels great to be a national champion, especially after my performance last year.”

Delgado finished third in the national championships a year ago, something that motivated her to work hard this season and bring home the title.

“Last year’s third-place finish motivated me because I was supposed to win it,” Delgado said. “I didn’t give it my best, and I lost. It was a reality check that just because you’re supposed to win doesn’t mean you will unless you work hard. With that in mind, I have been pushing myself this year to do better and actually win it.”

Also different this year was Delgado’s weight class. After a season-ending injury to Karon Scott midway through the season, Delgado moved from 82 to 95 with the expectation of filling the spot at the national tournament for OCU.

“Ninety-five kilograms is not my normal weight class,” Delgado said. “That was a big difference that I had to make up.”

OCU coach Archie Randall said of Delgado’s development, “Brittany from last year to this year has become confident in her ability to wrestle with anyone at any weight.”

Off the mat, Delgado enjoys working with kids and plans to be a science teacher after she graduates from OCU. She was involved with a day camp this summer called Project Transformation, where she helped as a physical education teacher for underprivileged elementary-aged children.

“I got to work with some of the most amazing kids,” she said. “A lot of them, if they weren’t involved in Project Transformation, would be hungry, bored or doing something destructive in the community. It was one of those moments that made me appreciate how lucky I was growing up. It was my chance to give back to the community.”
To see the OCU Athletics Update with an interview with Delgado, click here.


More on Brittany:

Funniest person I know: My sister Brieana Delgado

The top of my to-do list: Working out

Person whose brain I’d like to pick: Winston Churchill

Which is best, Chipotle, Moe’s or Qdoba: Moe’s

Dream car: ’69 Camaro or Mustang


Female wrestlers making strides at Eastmont and Wenatchee

By Brian Adamowsky
World sports writer,
Brent Stecker
World staff writer

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Eastmont High School wrestler Amanda Abbott, at right, poses with other team wrestlers for a group photo on Jan. 27 at the East Wenatchee school. Abbott wrestles junior varsity in the 125-pound weight class against boys and girls. Last year, she finished third in regionals in the girls’ 119-pound division. She is headed to regionals again this season — on Feb. 13 at Kittitas — with an eye toward making the state tournament.


Ken Hoyt: Eastmont Wildcat wrestling coach

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Eastmont High School wrestler Amanda Abbott, third from left, waits with other wrestlers for team photos.
View full gallery: Eastmont wrestler Amanda Abbott

Wrestling teams are usually close-knit groups, and everyone — from the Mat Classic contenders to the most inexperienced freshmen — is expected to work as hard as they possibly can, regardless of ability level.

At Eastmont and Wenatchee, the same goes for females.

Eastmont’s Amanda Abbott and Wenatchee’s Emily Nordt are the lone female members of their respective school’s wrestling teams, and through hard work have become quite successful ones at that. Both took third at regionals last season — just a spot away from a state berth.

They are both headed back to regionals on Feb. 13 at Kittitas. Neither is wrestling in this weekend’s district meet at Wenatchee.

“This is the type of team where the level of acceptance comes from how hard you work. Emily works just as hard as everyone else and does what everyone else does,” Wenatchee coach Ed Valdez said.

“The other wrestlers treat me well, just as another teammate,” Nordt said.

On the other side of the Columbia River, Abbott has also earned the respect of her teammates and coaches.

“(Abbott) is good in the practice room. She’s wrestled enough guys and has enough guys coaching her that each coach can say they’re responsible for her success — or not her success,” said Eastmont coach Ken Hoyt.

Nordt said she started wrestling in sixth grade, simply because it sounded like fun.

“Last year, I placed third at regionals and qualified as an alternate to state,” she said. “This year I would like to make it to state.”

She’s well on her way.

Nordt, a sophomore, is unbeaten through 11 matches against girls, though she has lost the three junior varsity matches she has wrestled against boys.

“The guys are constantly asking me, ‘How’s Emily doing?’ and ‘Can I help Emily with something?’” Valdez said. “She just has a willingness to work that’s really fit in around here.”

Abbott, a senior, joined the Wildcats last year with her older sister Courtney, with whom she grew up wrestling around the house. The scrappiness she developed from those sibling battles has helped her put together a 12-0 record this season against females and 13-3 overall.

“There’s not a lot of fright in her,” Hoyt said of Abbott. “I think her strength is her single (leg takedown). She’s not afraid to commit.”

Though Nordt and Abbott are enjoying success this year, girls wrestling still has room to grow in the area. Hoyt said he’s had trouble keeping more than a handful of girls on the team for an entire season because they don’t get as many opportunities to compete.

“I don’t think girls think of (wrestling) as a girls sport yet,” Hoyt said. “There’s nothing worse than practice after practice without competition. It’s hard to find matches for them, and unfortunately don’t usually find a lot of girls matches until January. It would be hard to blame a kid to not want to stick with it.”

Hoyt said his goal is to get enough girls to stick out a season so that a girls team can be added to the Eastmont athletic department’s budget.

Nordt and Abbott also want to see the sport continue to grow.

“More girls should get involved because it is a fun, challenging sport and it gives girls another option for a winter sport,” Nordt said. “Many schools on the west side have full girls teams and it would be great to see Wenatchee have more girls turn out.”

“It keeps you in shape and definitely builds character,” Abbott said. “It makes you humble and gives you a sense of accomplishment.”


Clarion Calls

By Mike Nesper & Jeff Helminiak | Peninsula Clarion

Jeff's call: Hutchison keeps trailblazing

The best time to make history is in the infancy of a movement. Skyview High School graduate Michaela Hutchison is doing just that in women's collegiate wrestling.

On Saturday at the Women's College Wrestling Association National Championships at Missouri Valley College, Hutchison, a sophomore, won her weight class for the second year in a row. Wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs, Hutchison defeated Shauna Isbell of Lindenwood Univeristy in the championship match.

Hutchison also helped Oklahoma City University defend its team title. In early January, Hutchison also had helped OCU win its third straight National Wrestling Coaches Association Nationals Duals women's wrestling championship. Hutchison earned a fall in the championship dual against Simon Fraser of British Columbia. OCU finished undefeated in duals this season.

This is not the first time Hutchison has made history. In 2006, Hutchison became the first female wrestler in the country to win an individual high school championship competing against boys. Hutchison defeated Colony's Aaron Boss 1-0 in the Class 4A Alaska State Wrestling Championships, producing a roar so loud that former Clarion sports reporter and current managing editor Will Morrow vividly remembers it to this day.

Three years to the day after that historic victory over Boss, Hutchison became the first woman to compete in an Oklahoma men's college dual, according to OCU. Hutchison lost that match.

According to an article in the Kansas City Star (see link at the bottom of this column), women's collegiate wrestling is starting to get more and more popular.

The WCWA National Championships started in 2004, with only five or six colleges competing annually. Twelve schools were at Saturday's meet. Four schools have started women's wrestling and joined the WCWA in the past two years, with another set to start next year. There were 132 women competing this year, up from about 45 three years ago.

The popularity of women's wrestling also is spreading to more areas of the country. OCU has women from 13 different states on its roster.

"It was well-attended and the quality was higher than other years," OCU coach Archie Randall, the WCWA coach of the year, told about this year's national championships. "That is what the most impressive thing was this year. It was a phenomenal tournament."

The crowd at the meet on Saturday was estimated at only 200 people, but if collegiate wrestling continues to grow in popularity, perhaps one day wrestling historians will look back and point to Hutchison as one of the key pioneers in giving women a place in wrestling.


Kendrick's Morgan making strides as one of two female wrestlers in area



Kendrick’s Danielle Morgan, one of two female wrestlers in the Bi-City area, spent a year practicing with her team before wrestling in her first meet earlier this season. She laughs when she thinks back about it.

Nerves kicked in and her opponent pinned her in about 30 seconds. But the season began to get better with every meet after, something else that makes her smile.

“I got more confident,” said Morgan, who wrestles in the 160-pound weight class. “Then I started getting more energetic and started shooting more and getting more take downs.”

Kendrick athletic director and wrestling coach Collins Jones said he was surprised when Morgan asked to join the team last season but was ultimately won over by her work ethic.

“I was reluctant at first, but she seemed serious about doing it,” Jones said. “There are some sports that I think can be coed. And then are some sports that I think are meant to be unisex. This was one of them. But she came through with her offseason training and her dedication to it, and that convinced me.”

Morgan, who may sit out at today’s Class AAA Area 2 meet with a strained back, joined the Kendrick wrestling team last season and made her first meet appearance earlier this season. Her 1-9 record hardly is indicative of her improvement, which Jones said has been “300 percent” since she first came to practice.

“I think if there was such a thing as girls wrestling teams here, she’d be undefeated,” Jones said. “Her record doesn’t really show how well she can wrestle.”

Morgan said breaking into a typically male-dominated sport was a little intimidating at first, but that feeling did not last long. Her teammates quickly accepted her — and did not take it easy when practicing against her, she said — and her male opponents have been just as open to wrestling a girl.

“Her opponents have all treated her with respect or courtesy,” Jones said. “They didn’t really look at her as a female; they just saw her as another wrestler.”

Chattahoochee County’s Jasmine Brunson is the Bi-City’s other female wrestler.


Schroeder's Tanya Kusse is first girl to earn league wrestling honors

James Joahnson • Staff writer • February 5, 2010


While Webster Schroeder senior Tanya Kusse wrestled down on the mat, Kailey George watched the varsity match move from one overtime period to the next, while up in the top row of bleachers at Webster Thomas.

Kusse and George, a junior, are not friends. But George watched Kusse at four meets during this high school wrestling season and watched part of the 119-pounder's progression as the only girl in the Webster Schroeder varsity lineup.

"She's worked really hard," George said. "She exercises daily, and lost a lot of weight.

"It's hard to wrestle guys and get respect from them. With a girl, it's even worse. I think it's great, I have a lot of respect for her. I know I wouldn't do well."

Wrestling is as physical as any sport, an aspect displayed when George and others watched Kusse trade distracting taps to the head with Doyle to set up takedown attempts that night. The trend more than 10 years ago was that more girls were entering the sport, and it is still on the way up.

At least 17 girls were on rosters of Section V varsity, JV or modified rosters this winter, slightly up from 11 during the 1999-2000 season. According to the National Federation of State High Schools Associations, 6,025 girls wrestled on high school teams in 2008-09, more than 21/2 times the number of participants a decade ago.

"Girls wrestling is not an anomaly anymore," Irondequoit coach and New York/USA Wrestling chairman Lou Lombardo said. "It has been accepted in the wrestling community, rightfully so, for these athletes.

"They have to control their weight, monitor their nutrition, work in the weight room and in the wrestling room (in practice). The rules don't change because you are a man or a woman."

Acceptance becomes easier as more girls go through the year-round grind while training, and in some cases, have success.

Emme Conway was a Section V class tournament runner-up more than a decade ago at Attica. Warsaw sophomore Hanna Grisewood is fourth in's current Section V Division II or small schools rankings of 96-pound wrestlers with a record of 37 wins and seven losses.

Kusse, 19-21 this season, probably is a long shot to win her weight class at the Section V Class AA Championships this weekend.

It can be argued that Kusse has held her own during her first and only varsity season in what is described by coaches as a very competitive Monroe County league.

Kusse was recognized as the first girl to earn all-league honors after she finished sixth at the Monroe County Championships. Canandaigua officials said that she was the first girl to reach a weight division final at the school's Robert Bradshaw Memorial Tournament. And Kusse, headed to Lindenwood University in Missouri, does not have much company when it comes to girls who were given scholarships to wrestle in college.

"I was impressed with her," Farmington resident Lauren Lamb said. "She has a great attitude and great skills."

Lamb, who grew up in Okemos, Mich., near Lansing, wrestled boys at the varsity level for four years before she became a six-time women's national champion. She followed two older brothers into wrestling at the age of 6, and wrestled in more than 100 matches for her high school team.

Lamb, 32, attended Cornell, where she trained with the men's team, since there was no equivalent for women.

"It's a totally different story now," Lamb said. "There's more opportunity now, in college, to go to the Olympic Training Center. Hawaii, Michigan and Texas have separate high school tournaments."

When Kusse decided that she wanted to wrestle in college, she found 14 schools that had women's programs. She chose Lindenwood, a private school of about 5,000 students located outside of St. Louis, over King College in Tennessee after she met some of the current team members during an official visit in the fall.

"There are some schools that have wrestling (for women) but just as a club sport," Kusse said. "I was surprised that there were any, I thought maybe one or two in California.

"I really liked it, it felt right. They have a countless number of classes in the science department and in the fields I'm interested in, biology or environmental issues."

Kusse wanted to try an individual sport as an eighth-grader. Jim Kusse, Tanya's father, suggested wrestling.

"I've told her that she's been rough and tumble with the boys in the neighborhood," Jim Kusse said. "She said, 'Do you think I can do that?' I said, all you can do is ask if you can try out.

"The coaches were a little bit wary, but when she showed what she can do, they completely accepted her."

Dean Salvaggio, in his 15th season as the Webster Schroeder varsity wrestling coach, was impressed with Kusse's athleticism while on the modified team.

Vince Asito, then the Schroeder modified coach, assured Salvaggio that Kusse would not eventually disappear from the program and quit.

"We've had four or five who kind of fizzled out," Salvaggio said. "It's survival. A lot of kids quit because it's too hard.

"She survived. It takes a special person to make it through. It's not easy to be a wrestler. She's a high honor-roll student, dedicated, a hard-worker and fast-learner. I'll take that any day."

Kusse, beginning as a freshman, wrestled on the Webster Schroeder JV for three years. She peeled away more than 30 pounds during that time, from 150 as a freshman to 140 the next high school season, to 135 then 130 as a junior, to 125 and finally 119 by the start of this season. Her younger brother Harley, wrestles at 135 pounds for Schroeder.

"I knew I could keep up (with boys), even though our physiques are different, but if I wanted to stay in the sport I had to lose weight," Kusse said. "The main thing is endurance. You have no idea how tiring it can be. You are gasping for breath, and you have two more minutes to go.

"We train, train, train and train more, but it's a great feeling. After practice, it was straight to the gym. My brother and I, we both have better bodies because of it."

Kusse cut her weight down to 116 pounds last summer, and finished third in that weight class during the Cadet/Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D.

It became clear to Salvaggio that Kusse, was a candidate to fill an anticipated hole in the Webster Schroeder lineup at 119. Salvaggio even moved Kusse to the varsity at the end of the last high school season to wrestle at 125 pounds during sectionals. She finished 0-2.

There was the possibility that another wrestler would challenge Kusse for the position in a wrestle-off, but no one did.

Fairport junior Kyle Goodrich has wrestled and defeated Kusse at least twice.

"I know some people get psyched out about it," Goodrich said. "She has a good understanding of it.

"She's tough on top (in position of control), really strong with her legs. She can compete with most guys, and always goes hard, never gives up."

Kusse would like to show other girls what wrestling is about. She plans to organize and recruit for a beginners-level clinic and tournament at the end of this month or next, as part of her senior year project at Webster Schroeder.

"Wrestling is a great sport," she said. "It makes you feel good about yourself, it definitely brings your self-esteem up.

I knew I was going to keep at it. It was tough, but sticking it out and hard work definitely pays in more ways than one."



Crowded at the top

Three standouts seek two regional berths






Girls competing in section invite

Ripon’s Triplett among 165-lb. favorites

By Jagada Chambers
Staff Reporter

POSTED  Feb. 5, 2010 2:39 a.m.
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A handful of area girl wrestlers have put together quality seasons and a few are hoping to close things out with strong performances in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament at McNair High in Stockton.

Standouts Hailey Owens and Julianna Triplet of Ripon High along with Sarah Phillips of East Union open tournament action today.

Triplett is coming off of an impressive second-place finish at the 165-pound weight class during the CIF Northern California Regional Tournament Jan. 16.

“Last year Julianna won it as a freshman, so we kind of expect her to do it again,” Ripon head coach Glenn White said. “She kind of had an unfortunate incident at state (Jan. 30) and got disqualified, but I think she’ll bounce back and do well this weekend.”

Phillips has made the most of her first season at the high school level, garnering a pair of tournament championships and five top-3 finishes. Phillips is carrying on the legacy paved by Manteca Buffaloes graduate and cousin Samantha Phillips. Samantha was a state champion during her career, giving Sarah instant legitimacy on her surname alone.

“The expectations were high for Sarah, she was in the paper before she was on the team” East Union head coach A.J. Reindel said. “I’d like to take a lot of the credit and say I taught her and I made her this good, but no, she is just tough.

“She’s physically tough, mentally tough; she has a lot of the stuff a wrestling coach looks for but can’t teach.”

Phillips will try and continue her dominance thru the 98-poundd tournament field.

Ripon’s Owens will battle the entrants in the 114-poundd weight class. Like the other two wrestlers, Owens has earned her share of success on the year, but a tournament victory would be the ideal conclusion to her sophomore season.

“Hailey has really improved this season,” White said of Owens. “She wrestled pretty well last year at the Invitational, but we’re hoping that she will be able to break through and place this year.”

Weston Ranch High standout Sara Leon will not participate in the two-day tourney due to injury, bringing a season where she worked herself into a No. 2 section ranking to a sad end.

“It is really heartbreaking for the young lady,” Cougar head coach Pat King said. “She has been in there every day, has not missed a practice, and she works as hard as any guy in our room.

“She has improved 10-fold this year, so it was hard to see her miss the final tournament.”

 The tournament will solely feature the top wrestlers in the section, giving the girls a well-deserved center stage for the entire wrestling community to enjoy.

“These girls work just as hard as the guys, if not harder than some of them,” Reindel said. “They have been wrestling boys and girls all year, so for her to get into a tournament that is section-wide, but just for the girls, it’s what she deserved.”



PREP WRESTLING: Postseason starts for local wrestlers
POSTED: Thursday, Feb. 04, 2010

Local wrestlers will take their first steps toward Mat Classic XXII and a spot at the Tacoma Dome this weekend as the postseason officially gets under way with sub-regional matches.

Class 2A schools and all area girls' wrestlers will be staying close to home with Squalicum hosting the two-day 2A Sub-Regional beginning in the evening on Friday, Feb. 5, and all day on Saturday. Championship matches should start around 4 p.m. on the second day.

The top four placers in each weight class in the boys' competition earn a spot at the 2A Regional on Feb. 13 at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall. The top four girls' wrestlers will be headed to Sedro-Woolley next weekend for the Region One girls' tournament.

Class 3A schools Ferndale, Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon will have a little farther to travel. Those teams are off to Everett High School for a sub-regional. The top four wrestlers in each weight head to Yakima next weekend for their regional tourney.

In Class 1A, the majority of the Nooksack Valley and Meridian wrestling teams will have to wait another week to get their first taste of the postseason. Those schools don't have a sub-regional tournament this year and instead will hold a regional tournament on Feb. 13 at Bellevue Christian School.

A few area wrestlers will be heading to Friday Harbor on Saturday to try and qualify for the regional tourney, however. Those matches start at noon.

Once they reach the regional, it could be a tough road to state. Only the top three placers in each weight class from the 1A regional tournament will advance to the state tournament. Fourth place finishers become state alternates.

Reach JOE SUNNEN at or call 756-

Wrestlers to hit mat at district

By David Arno and Mike Jones
Updated: 02.04.10
After three months of meets nearly every weekend, the wrestling season is nearing the end. But not before the local grapplers make an appearance at the District 20-5A Tournament at Kingwood Park today and Saturday.

“Our kids finished up the season real strong,” Conroe coach Jeremy Horan said. “We always strive to do our best and peak at the end of the year and we’ve had some of our best results the last few weeks.”

Conroe boys in the mix to advance to regionals include Lance Jefferson (180-pound class; made regionals last year), Patrick Webber (heavyweight), Alonzo Sanchez (160), Ryan Pranzino (125) and Sam Glover (189). Jefferson won his last tournament, at Klein Collins.

On the girls side, Brittany Sawyers, who finished second in district last year and ended up making it to state, will be going for gold in the 102-pound division.

“She has a good chance to do very well,” Horan said. “She has a good chance at winning her weight class.”

Other girls who are in the mix are Alex Powell (119; second in district last year), Sam McConnell (138; won division at Klein Collins Tournament) and Sheila Trevino.

“I think the girls have a chance to be in the mix for finishing in the top three teams or better at district,” Horan said.

“We’re looking forward to the district meet. It should be really fun,” Oak Ridge coach Mike Morgan said. “It should be fun for people to watch – there’s going to be some good wrestling, especially once it gets to the semifinals when the best wrestlers are left.”

The district alignment for wrestling differs from how it is for the other sports since not every school has a wrestling team.

Although District 20-5A is large even for wrestling, consisting of Oak Ridge, The Woodlands, College Park, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood Park, Huntsville, Klein, Klein Collins, Klein Oak and Klein Forest, most of the teams in the district have met up before in meets throughout the season.

“District should be a tough tournament,” College Park coach David Barrett said. “There are a lot of good schools, and a good number of state qualifiers have come out of our district the last few years.”

In the meet, there is a team score and the top two wrestlers in each weight category will advance to the Region III meet the following weekend, on Feb. 12-13 at Allen High School, north of Dallas.

Region III consists of mostly schools from the Houston area, but also includes many teams from Dallas.

“We’ve seen some of the other teams from our region at a few meets this year. Some of the Dallas schools were at the Cy-Fair Tournament at the Berry Center,” Morgan said. “Our region is so good and so competitive that if you get out of it, you have a good chance to place at state.”

“Allen is great, and Klein is right behind them in the region, but I think we’re right there with them,” The Woodlands coach Michael Harris said. “Our region is so big, with the most competition ˜– I think it’s the best region in the state. It’s tougher to get to state coming from our region than it is from any other one.”

With the win-or-go-home nature of district, this is a time that the wrestlers have to focus as they prepare for the meet.

“We’re feeling good. The kids are a bit nervous, though, which is a good thing. It’s a good nervous – I like it,” Harris said. “There’s less fooling around in practice and it helps them keep their game faces on.”