girls wrestling

Ridgeline’s Madelyn Topham stands on top of the podium, next to Mountain Crest’s Kaydee Hopkins, after winning her weight class at last Saturday’s Lady Hawks Rumble.

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It was a meaningful weekend for high school girls wrestlers throughout Cache Valley and several of them made the most of it.

The Lady Hawk Rumble, the first-ever all-girls prep tournament contested locally, took place last Saturday in Millville, and Mountain Crest reigned supreme. The Mustangs racked up 225.5 points, which was 21.5 more than runner-up Copper Hills.

All six programs from Region 11 participated in the 22-team tourney. Fremont was a distant third with 149 points, while Bear River (fifth place, 109 points) and Ridgeline (10th, 48) finished in the top 10.

“We’ve been working hard since June to prepare for the Lady Hawk Rumble,” Ridgeline head coach Melanie Montierth said. “We were excited and honored to host the first all-girls tournament in Cache Valley.”

This is the second time Mountain Crest has won a big invitational as it was also triumphant at the Battle of the Amazonians earlier this month. The Lady Mustangs had 22 athletes compete at the Lady Hawk Rumble and 17 of them earned a spot on the podium.

“Winning the Lady Hawks Rumble was an amazing experience for our team,” MC head coach Janae Liljenquist said. “We hadn’t seen some of the wrestlers since our first tournament at the Christmas Clash and to witness the progress and improvement in all the wrestlers there was truly inspiring. We are seeing tougher, longer battles on the mat as the girls are cleaning up their technique and becoming more experienced wrestlers. ... So proud of how far they have come and how they continue to give 100 percent.”

It was another collective effort from the Mustangs, who didn’t crown any champions, but had four finalists and another four who captured consolation titles. The four Mustangs who made it the championship round were Kaydee Hopkins (128-pound weight class), Cristell Flores (136), Sophie Longson (140) and Talia Johansen (160), while fellow teammates Jenna McDougal (145), Brynlie Hansen (150), Audrey Stabile (160) and Rosa Campos (170) all prevailed in their third-place matches.

Mountain Crest’s other placers were Gabriella Norton (fifth at 108), Rylee Turnbow (fourth, 115), Piper Nix (fourth, 120), Emma Child (fifth, 120), Jalise Wakley (fifth, 124), Brooklynn Swanson (fifth, 132), Sheccid Alvardao (fifth, 190), Kennedy Peapealalo (fourth, 245) and Sophia Hansen (sixth, 245).

“Having an all girls tournament in Cache Valley will hopefully bring more girls out to wrestle and we will see a rise in participation and spark interest in other girls, and to help build our female wrestling community,” Liljenquist said.

Injuries left the Riverhawks short-handed, but they still managed to outpoint more than half the teams despite only having three competitors. Ridgeline was led by Madelyn Topham, who claimed the title in the 128-pound division and pinned all three of her opponents in the process. Teammate Makayla Pigmataro was fourth at 170 pounds.

“We are so proud of Maddie for working hard and winning that first-place medal,” Montierth said. “This is her first year wrestling, but she’s been in it over the summer and all of preseason, and the hard work and extra practice shows. She is a fast learner, listens well and has been constantly improving.”

Green Canyon brought four wrestlers to the tournament and two of them earned medals in Brook Harris (fourth, 132) and Jaiden Cuff (fourth, 140). The Wolves finished 16th in the team competition with 29 points.

Sky View had three grapplers at the tourney and Logan two. Sky View’s Dika Dekar placed sixth at 128 pounds. The Bobcats (16 points) and Grizzlies (six points) finished 18th and 19th, respectively.

PREP BOYS WRESTLING

Preston, Green Canyon and West Side competed at the 16-team Tiger Brawl Tournament, which took place Friday and Saturday at Aberdeen High School. Preston edged Declo for second place by three points, 118.5-115.5, while Green Canyon was sixth (81 points) and West Side 13th (22).

The Indians had 13 athletes in the main bracket and eight more in the consolation draw. Preston had eight medalists, led by finalists Tavin Rigby (120), Caigun Keller (145), Jonathan Seamons (160) and Emery Thorson (170). Keller and Seamons lost their first-place matches by two points — Keller to a defending 2A state runner-up from Malad — and Thorson was pinned in the third round by a returning 2A state runner-up from North Fremont.

Preston’s other placers were Dietrich Allred (fourth, 98), Brayden Weisbeck (third, 132), Jaden Perkins (third, 152) and Micah Serr (fourth, 182). Micah Peery (182) and Gentry Geary (285) claimed titles for the Indians in the consolation draw, while Riley Bodily won the girls 170-pound title and pinned all three of her foes.

Green Canyon had 10 competitors in the main bracket and four more in the consolation draw. Leading the charge for the Wolves was 182-pound champ Luke Blake, who dispatched of a returning 3A state medalist from Filer by a convincing seven points in the finals.

Garrett Herzog (285) also advanced to the finals for the Wolves and fell to a returning 2A state silver medalist from North Fremont. Green Canyon’s other four medalists were Daxton Darley (third, 113), James Shumway (third, 126), Josh Adams (fourth, 145) and Will Wheatley (fourth, 195).

The Wolves also crowned two champions in the consolation draw in Mason Burr (120) and Jackson Landon (160).

West Side had 10 wrestlers qualify for the main draw and another nine compete in the consolation draw. The Pirates had a pair of placers in Jed Hurren (fourth, 106) and Colten Gunderson (fourth, 152), plus a trio of silver medalists in the consolation draw in Hunter Checketts (138), Max Leavitt (120) and McKay Mumford (113).

Additionally, West Side’s Camilla Tew stuck all three of her opponents en route to the girls title at 126 pounds. Teammate Sesha Beckstead was third at 120.

PREP BOYS HOOPS

Both Franklin County teams finished off season sweeps of opponents in their own classification. West Side (11-3) rolled past Ririe (1-14) 57-36 at home, while Preston (10-6) took care of Twin Falls (7-8) 63-52 on the road.

Five different West Side players teamed up to knock down nine 3-pointers. Bryler Shurtliff finished with a team-high 13 points for the Pirates, followed by Blaize Brown with 10, Parker Henderson with eight and Easton Henderson with seven. West Side, which scored 32 of its points after halftime, extended its winning streak to eight.

Meanwhile, Preston pulled away from Twin Falls by outscoring the Bruins 20-11 in the third quarter. Like the Pirates, the Indians were balanced offensively as Gabe Hammons and freshman Druw Jones netted 12 points apiece, Cam Hobbs contributed with 10 points and Braden Hess and Rhett Larson added seven apiece.

Preston got six rebounds from Hammons, Larson, Cole Harris and Brecker Knapp, and three assists from Harris and Jones.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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