Lady Monach Cali Leng prepares to pin Western Brown’s Dakota Propeck during the Ohio State High School Wrestling Coaches Association state tournament at Hilliard Davidson High School. Marysville’s girls won the state championship and Leng captured top honors in her weight class. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Cali Leng won Marysville High School’s first-ever individual girls club state wrestling championship on Saturday.
In doing so, she helped lead the Lady Monarchs to the state title during the event that was held at Hilliard Davidson High School.
Leng captured the gold in the 116-pound weight class during the tournament that was sponsored by the Ohio High School State Wrestling Coaches Association.
During the finals, Leng fell behind, 4-2, to Grace Jones of London, who was the defending state champion.
The Monarch grappler, however, battled back to win the match 7-4.
“Cali has worked incredibly hard over the last year,” said MHS coach Shawn Andrews. “Winning a state title is validation of the work she has put in.
“Her effort day-in and day-out drives our girls program.”
Leng won her first match of the tournament with a 2:42 pin over Camryn Manley of Mogadore.
She followed with a 2:33 pinfall over Dakota Propeck of Western Brown and a 2:46 pin over Lexi Beadle of Youngstown Boardman.
Leng then beat Jones for the title.
The Lady Monarchs claimed the state crown with 131.5 points.
“It was an amazing privilege to be a part of the first team club state title for Marysville,” said Andrews. “It was a total team effort and each of our girls contributed to our final team point total.”
Defending state champion Miami East, which held the lead early in the day on Sunday, placed as runner-up with 103.
Olentangy Orange notched 95, followed by Delaware Hayes-62, Harrison-58, Alliance-57, Western Brown-57, Minerva-55, Greeneview-51, Bellefontaine-41.5, Fairfield-41, Waverly-40, Lutheran West-39, Warren-39, Taylor-35, Cleveland Central Catholic-34, New Lexington-34, Clermont Northeastern-31, Logan-28 and Miamisburg-28 to round out the top 20.
Miami East and Orange had won district titles the previous week, with East beating MHS during the district that was held at Marysville.
There were a total of 104 schools represented in the tournament.
Jonathan Alder placed 58th with nine points.
The tournament was split into weight classes 101-131 on Saturday and 137-235 on Sunday.
That followed COVID-19 restrictions.
Sophia Smegal of Marysville was the runner-up in the 150-pound division.
She scored a 1:12 pin over Megan Keller of Delaware Hayes during the opening round.
The Lady Monarch grappler edged Erin Martin of Walnut Hills by a 5-4 margin in the quarterfinals.
Smegal put Jayda Patrick of Alliance to the mat in 3:10.
She was pinned in the championship match by Sol Franco of New Lexington in 4:47.
Emma Swart placed third in the 106-pound category.
One of the first girls to wrestle at Bunsold Middle School boys team, Swart scored a 19-4 technical fall over Paige Lucas of Minvera.
Swart’s second match saw her topple Ava Miller of Teays Valley in 1:36.
Swart was pinned in 1:00 during the semifinals by Chloe Dearwester of Harrison.
The Lady Monarch athlete then claimed third place with an injury default by Kylee Bentley of Hubbard. That came at the 2:47 mark of the match.
Katie Palmer (143) and Aubrey Reese (160) placed fifth and Olana Chapman (170) finished sixth to reach the awards podium.
Palmer got off to a rocky start with a 5-0 loss in the opening round to Lizbeth Banderas of Norwood.
She rebounded with four consecutive victories through the consolation round.
Palmer needed just 19 seconds to pin Olentangy Orange’s Sofia Hendez and then put Laney Hitchens of Shenandoah to the mat in 1:37.
Those victories moved Palmer to the consolation semifinals where she took Lilly Braden of Clermont Northeastern down in one minute.
The battle for fifth place saw Palmer tally a 10-1 major decision over Caledonia River Valley’s Lila Mencer.
Reese was pinned in 3:41 during her opening-round battle by Molly Hudler of Harrison.
Reese scored respective pinfalls of 4:06, 2:15 and 2:15 over Olivia Yocum of Hamilton Township, Ny Miller of Ridgedale and Chloe Little of Waverly.
Reese took fifth-place accolades with a 4:28 pin over Casey Homorody of Olentangy Orange.
Chapman began her portion of the tournament with a 5:07 pin over Emily Jirousek of Keystone.
Chapman fell by pinfall in 27 seconds to Taryn Martin of Olentangy Orange during the quarterfinals.
The Lady Monarch grappler rebounded with a 1:27 pin over Amara Hedge of Mason and then put Gracian Daughery of Ridgedale down in 2:26.
Chapman lost the battle for fifth and sixth place when she was toppled by Carmen Pape of Delaware Hayes in 2:05.
Mia Oribello (126) and Emily Segner (131) both posted 2-2 records on Saturday.
Sunday’s action saw Haley Winans (137) split her two matches.
Heily Ramos (235) and Lauren Sloboda (137) both won one of their three bouts.
“ As a coach I knew what we had going into day one of the tournament,” said Andrews. “All of our competitors on that day, along with our state alternate Maddie Adelsberger (121) had been there in the previous year.
“ All but one of our wrestlers on day two had never competed in an event like this,” he said. “Our coaches were very intentional not to talk about team scores or team championships, but instead focusing on one match at a time.”
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