Cali Leng, top photo, of Marysville prepares to put Paulding’s Halley Stahl on the mat during the girls state wrestling tournament at Hilliard Davidson High School. In the bottom photo, MHS’ Madison Sharp, left, squares off against Paige Young of West Holmes. (Journal-Tribune photos by Tim Miller)
It all began Saturday morning with the exclamation… “Ladies, are you ready to make history!!!”
It ended the next day with the Marysville High School girls wrestling team taking its spot among the best squads in the state of Ohio.
Marysville placed third out of 99 teams during the inaugural Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association state tournament that was held over the weekend at Hilliard Davidson High School.
Since it was the first year of the tournament, any girl could compete without needing to advance through a district.
Miami East and Olentangy Orange placed first and second with respective point totals of 149.5 and 122.5.
The Lady Monarchs claimed their third-place finish with 99.5.
Rounding out the upper-tiered teams were Minvera-87, Lutheran West-61, Sidney-54, Lakota West-53, Bellefontaine-52, Delaware Hayes-51 and Big Walnut and Greeneview-50.
“It was an emotional day of highs and lows just like any other tournament,” said Marysville head coach Shawn Andrews. “We are happy for our girls who made the podium, but know that we left some winnable matches out there on the mat.”
The top six finishers in each weight class earned their way to the awards stand.
MHS was represented by four athletes on the podium.
Madison Sharp took fourth-place honors in the 101-pound weight class, while Shelby Downey did the same at 137.
Lalia Oribello (116) and Cali Leng (126) both placed sixth.
Sharp began the tournament with a first-round bye.
Her initial match ended with a 1:14 pin over Paige Young of Millersburg West Holmes.
Sharp followed with another pinfall victory during the quarterfinals. She put Charity Schnepp of Paulding to the mat in 1:27.
The Monarch grappler had the tables turned on her during the semifinals. Sharp was pinned in 5:28 by Hayley Snyder of Warren Local.
There were two additional bouts left for Sharp.
She scored an 11-1 major decision over Bethel-Tate’s Alexa Donahue during the consolation semifinals.
Sharp then fell to Makayla Young of Bellefontaine by a 2:55 pinfall in the match for third and fourth place.
Downey tallied bonus points during her first two matches.
She toppled Ernestine Underwood of Brush High School in 1:28 and felled Ella Wayne of Alliance in 1:12.
Downey ran into difficulties during the quarterfinals when she was put to the mat in 2:26 by Lacie Reese of Western Brown.
Downey rebounded well during the consolation bracket by capturing her next three bouts.
She notched a 13-5 major verdict over Lila Mencer of River Valley, tallied a 10-4 decision over Piqua’s Beth Herndon and pinned Delaware Hayes’ Ari Avant in 3:32.
Downey faced a familiar foe in the battle for third and fourth place.
She was pinned in 4:29 by Reese.
Oribello won her first two bouts by pins.
She toppled Catie Kerr of Lutheran West in 1:52 and needed a mere 13 seconds to take down Ava Nelson of Mentor.
Oribello fell in the quarterfinals to Shi’anna Bamba of Massillon Perry by an 8-6 decision.
The MHS grappler rallied for pins during her first two matches in the consolation bracket.
She put Hamdi Osman of Columbus Centennial to the mat in 2:24 and toppled Jada Shafer of Minerva in 3:48.
Isabella DiBenedetto of Upper Arlington downed Oribello, 9-5, during the consolation semifinals.
Bama then pinned Oribello in 3:00 during the match for fifth and sixth place.
Leng won her first two bouts by pinfalls.
She took Halley Stahl of Paulding to the mat in 5:12 and did the same to Sadina Munroe of Collins Western in 2:43.
Leng was edged by Angel Dominguez of Milford High School by a 7-5 count.
The MHS grappler, though, came back in the consolation bracket with a pair of pins.
She finished with a 4:07 pin over Grace Hicks of Lakota West and turned in a 2:54 fall over Natalie Bair of Miami East.
Leng dropped a 4-3 verdict to Norwood’s Lizbeth Banderas in the consolation semifinals.
She was pinned in 2:30 by Dominguez in the battle for fifth and sixth place.
The Lady Monarchs were represented by several other grapplers.
They were (with records) as follows:
-106: Emma Swart, 2-2;
-116: Maddie Adelsberger, 2-2;
-131: Mia Oribello, 1-2;
-143: Lauren Sloboda, 1-2;
189: Destiny Fry, 2-2.
“It was an amazing event for girls wrestling and wrestling in Ohio,” said Andrews. “It is only going to grow and our program has to do the same.
“We lose four seniors from our program who have been pioneers in the halls of our building,” he said. “For our girls program to improve, we need to increase our numbers at the youth, middle school and high school levels.”
“We need to add to our coaching staff and keep the momentum going,” said Andrews.
Emma Swart (right) of MHS, top photo, battles Savanna Johnson of Waverly during the opening round of the 106-pound division of the inaugural state coaches association girls wrestling tournament. The event was held at Hilliard Davidson High School on Saturday and Sunday. In the bottom photo, Marysville’s Maddie Adelsberger controls Alexis Grant of Oak Hills High School. The Lady Monarchs placed third out of 99 teams during the tournament. (Journal-Tribune photos by Tim Miller)
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