Emily Segner of Marysville has a front lock on an opponent during a match from earlier this season. Segner is one of the Lady Monarchs who will compete in the Ohio High School State Wrestling Coaches Association state tournament this weekend at Hilliard Davidson. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Marysville High School will be represented by 12 athletes when the state girls wrestling tournament is held this weekend.
The event, which is sponsored by the Ohio High School State Wrestling Coaches Association, will be held Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. both days.
Competition will be conducted at Hilliard Davidson High School.
Athletes needed to place in the top four of last Sunday’s district tournament that was held at Marysville High School.
Lady Monarchs who qualified for the state (and their district finishes) were:
-First: Cali Leng, 116, and Aubrey Reese, 160;
-Second: Emma Swart (111), Mia Oribello (126), Emily Segner (131), Sophia Smegal (150), Olana Chapman (170) and Heily Ramos (235);
-Third: Haley Winans (137) and Katie Palmer (143);
-Fourth: Lauren Slododa (137).
The top six placers in each weight class will reach the state awards podium.
Marysville High School coach Shawn Andrews said these wrestling veterans have been vital to the growth of the sport on a local level.
“In the offseason and preseason, they worked hard to reach out to new girls to try wrestling,” he said. “Once the season began their focus has been on being the best team they can be and hoping that seeing their success will increase interest.
“Women’s wrestling is the fastest growing sport in the country,” said Andrews. “I would expect it to continue to grow, but only if those involved continue to market and promote the positive sides to the sport.
“When their athletic association sanctions it, almost every state sees a double in participation,” said Andrews. “In Ohio there was an increase of more than 100 girls who entered the post-season from year one to year two during a pandemic.
“I think those involved with promoting and sanctioning efforts in Ohio expect the numbers to only increase,” he said. “This year, we had six middle school girls come out and that is only going to help with growth.
“This year we have 12 girls in our youth wrestling program.”
Andrews said girls are looking for a winter sports athletic challenge other than basketball, swimming or gymnastics.
“Some have family members – dads, uncles or brothers – who wrestled,” he said. “Others want to be connected to a team and represent their school, while some want to join it because their friends are doing it.”
The state tournament will be split into two sessions.
Athletes in weight classes 101-131 will compete on Saturday.
Those in classes 137-235 will take to the mats on Sunday.
Andrews said the veteran Lady Monarchs could fare well during the state tournament.
“Emma Swart, Cali Leng, Mia Oribello and Lauren Sloboda competed during last year’s state tournament,” he said. “Their experience from last year is invaluable.
“However in the infancy of this sport in Ohio, a first-year girl can still have success because there are plenty of girls just like her in this sport.”
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