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#RoadToTheShow: MTZ Girls Claim Inaugural Region 1 Title

Matanzas wrestlers and coaches with the first FHSAA girls’ Region 1 team championship trophy won in Florida Saturday at North Bay Haven (Photo submitted by TJ Gillin via Facebook).

PANAMA CITY — It’s only fitting that the first full girls team in north Florida win Region 1’s first team championship.

Saturday, in the inaugural FHSAA Region 1 tournament, Matanzas pulled away from the rest of the field, using both numbers and skill to take a 33.5-point margin of victory over runnerup Ponte Vedra, 138.5-105.

Rounding out the top five teams in the 53-team tournament, and staging a pretty pitched battle in doing so, were Mosley (74.5 points), University (Orange City) (74) and Clay (73.5).

Below follows a summary of the day —

100: In a rematch of the District 1 final, Mosley sophomore Valarie Solorio (27-4) won by fall in the championship over Crestview freshman Alexis Brown, in 21 seconds, needing only a takedown and pin a moment or two later. Solorio pinned her way through the bracket, needing a combined mat time of just 1:10 to pin three opponents, with preliminary falls in the quarters over North Bay Haven’s Hayden Hauck (:15) and in the semis over Bozeman’s Elisabeth Vonkeyserling (:34). After a bye, Brown (4-2) took pins in the quarters (1:54) over University’s Zania Owen and in the semis (3 minutes) over Mainland senior Abby Couillard. Couillard (27-10, quarterfinal pin) added two more falls in the consis to wrestle back to third, pinning Wewahitchka 7th-grader Kameron Easter in 4:36, reprising her quarterfinal pin. Easter (10-15) won by three falls in the consis to punch her Silver Spurs ticket, with a pin in the blood round (3:18).

105: After a bye into the quarters, Crestview freshman Sigrun Metzger (5-0) pinned her way into the final, where she turned back Deltona senior Dianna Pineda, 9-4. Metzger gave up the first two takedowns, but came back with a six-point third period behind a takedown and 3-point turn to put the match away. Earlier in the tournament, Metzger took pins over Lake Brantley’s Vanessa Martin-Soto (:31, quarters) and Matanzas freshman Mariah Mills (3:21, semis). Pineda (27-2) bonus-pointed her way to the final, with a 13-second pin over Columbia’s Krysta Chaffin (rd of 16), a quarterfinal forfeit and 10-0 major in the semis over Oakleaf sophomore Adrianna Barrientos. Mills (12-3, 2 front-side pins) added a third pin in the blood round, going on to shut out Barrientos, 7-0, in the medal round. Barrientos (14-6, front-side pin) earned her state space with a third-period fall (5:16) in the consi semis.

110: Matanzas freshman Tiana Fries (15-2) bonus-pointed her way through four rounds to claim the championship with a first-period fall (1:51) over Ponte Vedra senior Cynthia Kowitski. After giving up first takedown, Fries escaped a few moments later, scoring a takedown of her own that led to a subsequent turn and fall. Earlier in the tournament, Fries took pins in the round of 16 over Ed White’s Larissa Jones (:25) and Oviedo’s Amy Trevino (1:15, quarters), followed by a 20-7 major in the semifinals over Gulf Breeze freshman Lily Powell. Kowitski (4-2) pinned her way to the final, with falls over Westside’s Layah’ Mixon (:37, rd of 16), over University’s Jaelyn Sunseri (2 minutes, quarters), and over Crestview’s Frehdis Metzger (3:30, semis). After an 8-6 loss to Powell in the quarters, Middleburg junior Gracie Bradshaw (24-7) won four times in the consis to wrestle all the way back to third, with a decision in the blood round and three pins, falling Powell in 3:45 for third place. Powell (9-5, front-side pin & 8-6 decision), earned her way into states with a 3-0 blood-round decision.

Ponte Vedra wrestlers and coaches with the team’s Region 1 runnerup trophy won Saturday at North Bay Haven (Photo submitted via Ponte Vedra team page).

115: Ponte Vedra freshman Erin Rizzuto (5-0), after a bye into the quarters, pinned her way to the first-place medal, with a 4-minute fall in the final over Tate freshman Lahela Grady. After giving up first takedown and trailing, 3-0, after one period, Rizzuto gave up a second takedown before finding her attack, rallying behind a pair of scoring moves and a 3-point turn, taking the fall a bit after scoring a takedown that finally had given her the lead in the match. Earlier in the tournament, Rizzuto had pins over Lake Mary freshman Jocelyn Higgins (:55, quarters) and Bishop Kenny’s Rachel Howard (4:38, semis). For her part, Grady (14-8) pinned her way into the final, falling Oviedo’s Camryn Harber (:47, rd of 16), Columbia’s Giovanna Lorenzo (:51, quarters) and Matanzas’ Tesla Kirkland (1:50, semis). After a quarterfinal loss, University (Orange City) sophomore Katy Roche (15-6, front-side pin) won four times in the consis to wrestle back to third, pinning Higgins in 5:22 for third place. Higgins (18-10, front-side pin) had three pins in the consis, with a consi-semi fall (3:11) to punch her Silver Spurs ticket.

120: Tocoi Creek junior Brielle Bibla (22-1) max-pointed through four rounds to take the championship here, with a forfeit in the round of 16 and three pins thereafter, the last in the final (2:55) over Westside senior Emma Smith. Bibla’s first takedown, after a minute-long ride, led to a 3-point turn; the second led to the fall. Bibla had earlier pions over Pace’s Lyla Underwood (1:46, quarters) and Seminole junior Brianna Pena (1:10, semis). After a bye into the quarters, Smith (16-5) took a quarterfinal pin over Ponte Vedra’s Sophia Mallon (1:21), with a semifinal 5-2 decision over Matanzas freshman Christina Borgmann to get to Bibla. Pena (19-3, front-side pin & medical forfeit) added two more pins in the consis, falling Borgmann in 2:46 for third place, while Borgmann (10-7, forfeit & decision) won by fall in the blood round (2:37) to earn her state space.

125: Clay junior Aubrianna Apple (27-3) pinned her way through the draw after a rd-of-16 bye, with a first-period fall (1:20) over Ponte Vedra freshman Natalia Choquegonza. Apple picked up two takedowns in the first 45 seconds of the match, with the second putting her in position for the eventual turn and fall. Earlier in the day, after the bye, Apple had pins over Creekside’s Anjel Balkenbush (3:18, quarters) and over University’s Alex Roche (:44, semis) to reach the final. As for Choquegonza (4-2), she had falls over Lake Mary’s Savannah Strickland (2:33, rd of 16) and Matanzas’ Maddie Torres (4:47, quarters), battling past Hagerty senior Megan Kaplan, 9-7, in the semi. Kaplan (28-8, front-side pin) bonus-pointed through two consi-side matches, pinning Flagler Palm Coast freshman Ana Vilar in 3:48, in a reprise of their quarterfinal match (which Kaplan also won by fall). Vilar (15-11, front-side pin) earned three pins to rally her way into states, with a blood-round fall (2:49).

130: Wewahitchka senior Kaylee Easter (23-14) bonus-pointed through each round, winning by injury default in the title round over Clay senior Madisyn Blackburn. After a bye into the quarters, Easter pinned Creekside’s Delaney Holcomb (1:06, quarters), following that up with a 12-0 semifinal major over Tocoi Creek freshman Kendall Bibla. Blackburn (27-3) also had a bye into the quarters, with bonus-point wins in the quarters over Milton’s Kaylyn Sons (pin in 1:52) and in the semis over Matanzas’ Marissa Roberts (15-0 TF in 3:41). After a loss by fall to Bibla in the quarterfinals, University (Orange City) sophomore Bryanne Kaminsky (22-6, front-side pin) rallied in the consis, with three consecutive pins to get back to third, the third of those a rematch fall over Bibla in 4:30 in the medal round. Bibla (16-7, front-side pin) punched her Silver Spurs ticket with a consi-semi pin in 3:19.

135: Matanzas junior Isabella Tietje (8-3) won the Lady Pirates’ second individual title, pinning her way through the group after a rd of 16 bye, falling Clay’s Jaidyn Vinson in 2:38 to win the championship. Tietje had takedowns in both periods in winning the title, riding Vinson out to end the first period and getting the fall shortly after the second one. Earlier in the tournament, Tietje won by fall over Seminole’s Isabelle Martin (1:09, quarters) and over Tocoi Creek’s Saniyah Callahan (:42, semis). Vinson also had a bye in the round of 16, taking pins in the quarters over Oviedo’s Jana El’harake (:30) and in the semis over Winter Springs senior Mathewa Casseus (4:31). El’harake (17-7) rallied back after the quarterfinal loss to Vinson, with four consi-side pins to finish third, pinning Casseus (4-3) in 3:51 in the medal round.

140: Hagerty senior Jada Llamido (19-0) stayed unbeaten after four victories to win the title, where she falled Nease junior Olivia Carr in 1:19. Llamido needed just one takedown, with a 2-point turn before collecting the subsequent turn that led to the fall. Earlier in the tournament, Llamido won by fall over Keystone Heights’ Stamatia Papainannou (:39, rd of 16) and Arnold’s Madelynn Nichols (:38, quarters), advancing to the final with a 10-3 semifinal win over Ponte Vedra junior Olivia Richie. Carr (13-7) bonus-pointed through the prelmiminary rounds to get to Llamido, with a rd-of-16 fall (1:21) over Oviedo’s Delaney Graves and majors in the quarters over Florida High’s Jaylyn Middleton (11-2) and in the semis over Matanzas sophomore Salomy Cabrera (12-1). Richie (7-1 post-season, front-side forfeit & pin) max-pointed through the two consi rounds, winning by medical forfeit over Cabrera. Cabrera (8-7, 2 front-side pins) earned her way into states with a blood-round TF (19-3 in 5 minutes).

145: Bartram Trail sophomore Katherine Stewart (6-0 post-season) had four pins to win the championship for the Bears, with a third-period fall in the finals (4:52) over Westside junior Degriece Coleman. Stewart had first takedown, but Coleman rallied behind a four-point move late in the second period; with the match tied at 4 and Stewart riding in the third, she was able to get the pin. Prior to the championship win, Stewart had pins over Clay’s Jaysie Garcia (1:57, rd of 160), over University’s Gracie Hollifield (1:42, quarters) and over Mosley senior Savannah Pitts (2:36, semis). Coleman (12-4) max-pointed her way to the final, with pins over Lake Mary’s Kendall Krietemeyer (4:30, rd of 16) and over Ponte Vedra’s Mira Schmidt (1:49, quarters), with a medical-forfeit in the semis over Lake Brantley’s Lanyla Hudspeth. Pitts (9-18, two front-side pins) had two bonus-point wins in the consis, pinning Hagerty junior Megan Dathe (3:06) for third. Dathe (10-10, front-side fall) had two max-point wins in the consis, with a medical forfeit in the consi semis.

155: Mainland junior Jah’Mya Hill (24-5) took a pair of pins after a quarterfinal decision, pinning West Port junior Jayden Dodge in 4:50 to win the championship. It was a wild match, in which both wrestlers put the other to their backs during the course of the six minutes, but Hill’s last takedown, which put her up 10-9, would be the decisive one. Earlier, after a bye, Hill took a 9-2 decision over Dunnellon’s Alicia Caton (quarters) and won by fall (5:08) in the semis over Westside freshman Karla Ortiz. After a bye, Dodge (10-3) took a quarterfinal pin (2:35) over Bartram Trail’s Ava Burre and found a takedown for an 8-6 sudden-victory decision over Orange Park junior Jasmine Hecht in the semis. Ortiz (14-2, front-side pin) had two max-point wins in the consis, with a medical forfeit over Hecht in the third-place match; Hecht (2-3 post-season, front-side pin) won by fall (3:28) in the blood round to secure a Silver Spurs space.

170: Mosley junior Henlee Haynes (11-0) bonus-pointed through the bracket for her championship, teching Oakleaf sophomore Jazzmine Moore (19-3 in 4:31) in the final. Haynes had six scoring moves, with a pair of nearfalls, the last scoring move a takedown that secured the tech. Earlier in the tournament, after a bye into the quarters, Haynes had pins over Lake Mary’s Tayla Sutton (:49, quarters) and over Tocoi Creek freshman Claire Holt (2:51, semis). Moore (12-5), after a bye, had first-period pins over Matanzas’ Gabrielle Proctor (1:16, quarters) and over Dunnellon’s Dyani Hoyte (:46, semis). Bartram Trail sophomore Hannah Matalobos (6-2, front-side pin) came back from a quarterfinal loss to Holt (2:31) with four consi-side pins, the last of those in 2:58 over Holt to place third. Holt (15-6, front-side pin) secured her state space with a consi-semi pin (3:09).

190: Lincoln senior Maggie Moss (11-1) won three times to win the championship, pinning Ed White senior Sydney Brown in 2:13 for the title. Moss built a 7-1 lead after one period, with a takedown and pair of nearfalls, with a second takedown eight seconds into the second period turning into the fall. After a bye into the quarters, Moss pinned Mainland’s Eva Rojas (:15) in that round, pushing past Middleburg freshman Cheyenne Cruce, 4-2, in the semis. Brown (4-3) had two preliminary pins before an 11-8 semifinal win over Chiles’ Cadee Lyons, with pins over Milton freshman Shyann Donaldson (1:31, rd of 16) and Oviedo’s Alana Sanchez (1:15, quarters). Cruce (19-8, 2 front-side pins) picked up two more pins in the consis, falling Donaldson in 1:53 for third; Donaldson (5-15), for her own part, had three pins to punch her Silver Spurs ticket, with a consi-semi pin in 3:46.

235: Orange Park senior Andrea Smith (4-0 post-season) won the title with three pins following a rd-of-16 bye, the third of those in the championship match (3:57) over Raines senior Jada Arnold. Arnold scored first on a penalty point in the first period, but Smith answered with a takedown midway through the second, pulling together the turn and fall just before the period ended. Smith got to the final with pins in the quarters (1:33) over Matanzas’ Nahilu Lubin and in the semis (1:18) over Lake Brantley’s Marcela Maya-Escalona. Arnold (4-3) had three pins to get to Smith, with pins over Lake Mary’s Jaden Pitts (:49, rd of 16), over Mainland sophomore Cheyenne Wigley (2:40, quarters) and over Rutherford’s Alisa Miller (:17, semis). After a consi rd 2-bye, Wigley (21-7) won by fall three times to get back to third, pinning Lubin in 2:50. Lubin (7-7) also won by fall three times in the consis, with a blood-round fall in 2:45 to secure a state space.

You can see complete brackets from this tournament and the three other girls’ regions throughout the state HERE.

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