MWA’s inaugural girls HS wrestling state finals crowns 15 competitors as state champions
For the first time ever, Michigan crowned 15 girls as high school state wrestling champions on Sunday.
The Michigan Wrestling Association hosted the Girls High School Wrestling State Finals at Adrian College on Sunday, with girls from 13 different high schools taking home titles.
Lowell and Fenton had a pair of champions each, with the Red Arrows getting titles at 125 from Reese Gonzales and at 145 from Alexis Gonzales. Fenton’s Kendra Ryan won at 101 and Chloe Wagner won at 140.
The event was open to female members of MHSAA teams — where girls have to compete alongside and against male competitors — and counted as one of the eight tournament competition dates each athlete is allowed per season.
While the MHSAA made a financial contribution to the event, according to published reports, it did not have a hand in conducting the event.
Here are the winners, by weight class:
(Full results from the event can be found on www.TrackWrestling.com)
101 — Fenton’s Kendra Ryan def. Brown City’s Whitley Blake, 1:10
105 — Sparta’s Rayana Sahagun def. Charlotte’s Carleigh Czerneski, 5:49
112 — Southgate’s Johanna Palshan def. Saline’s Alexis Poupore, 13-3.
115 — Warren Woods Tower’s Shelby LaBonty def. LeRoy Pine River’s Dallas Snider, 4-1.
119 — Onaway’s Brittney Wolgast def. Ishpeming Westwood’s Alana Nuorala, 0:57
123 — Brooklyn Columbia Central’s Mercaydeez Scott def. Linden’s Kennedy Gocha, 11-4
125 — Lowell’s Reese Gonzales def. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central’s Sarah Schenk, 0:47
130 — Owosso’s Megan Vondrasek def. Manchester’s Phoenix Waters, 6-4.
135 — Gibraltar Carlson’s Ellyana Kuzma def. Hemlock’s Bella Wazny, 1:44
140 — Fenton’s Chloe Wagner def. Petoskey’s Lydia Krauss, 16-0
145 — Lowell’s Alexis Gonzales def. Adrian’s Kayley Rada, 2:49
160 — Sandusky’s Logan Ryan def. Davison’s Cara Nanney, 5-0
171 — Marcellus’ Marie Butz def. Reed City’s Cassie Enos, 2-0
189 — Constantine’s Bo Geibe def. South Lyon’s Kailyn Garrett, 11-9
235 — Hartland’s Eliana Bommarito def. Carrollton’s Aaliyah Luera, 1:08
While Michigan was an early adopter in allowing girls to wrestle at all, the growth eventually plateaued and stalled, and the state association has never set up any sort of separate apparatus for girls to wrestle in their own tournaments.
Only three female wrestlers — Martin’s Amy Berridge in 2004, Goodrich’s CC Weber in 2009 and Clawson’s Katlyn Pizzo in 2017 — have ever placed at the MHSAA state finals.
According to statistics from the National Federation of State High School Associations database, participation in wrestling by Michigan girls hit a high of 593 in 2014-15, but was down to 205 in 2015-16 and 243 in 2016-17, before rebounding to 376 in 2017-18. A total of 57 schools had girls participants. That’s contrasted with 467 Michigan schools that sponsor the sport for boys.
Before the MHSAA will sanction it, the association has publicly said that it won’t until schools put together all-girls teams.