By MATMEN, Monday, 11:30 p.m.
PONTE VEDRA — In larger full-team tournaments like Saturday’s 3rd annual Ponte Vedra ‘Own The Ocean’ Girls IBT, Freedom’s depth of program still proved more then capable against the new challengers of the north.
The Lady Patriots nearly doubled up runnerup Osceola, 211-108, to win the team title Saturday evening, with those new northern challengers, Ponte Vedra (101 points), Middleburg (94) and Oakleaf (84) lined up immediately behind in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively, in the 25-team field.
Seven area champions, all from different schools, were able to overcome powerhouse fields to win individual weight-class titles.
Kicking things off for the north was Oakleaf’s Adrianna Barrientos (10th at 105); after a first-period fall over Bartram Trail and 7-2 win over University (Orange City)’s Jaelyn Sunseri (19th at 105) in the semi, Barrientos staked her claim for a higher state position in the final against 5th-ranked Maite Coutinho of Freedom. Despite giving up first takedown, Barrientos would set the pace after, with three of her own plus a reversal before falling Coutinho in 5:06.
Next up was Ponte Vedra sophomore Erin Rizzuto (2nd at 115), who rolled into the final behind pins over Fletcher and Stanton and an injury-default win over Mainland to reach the final and Osceola’s Daniela Tabora-Contreras. Rizzuto was able to score on her feet in the first period and off the mat in the second, using a strong ride in the third for a turn and fall over Tabora-Contreras in 4:52.
Three weights later, at 135, the area would claim its second title as top seed Aubrianna Apple (3rd at 135) would face fifth-ranked Bryanne Kaminsky of University-Orange City. Apple, who gave up just one point all day on pins over Middleburg and Tocoi Creek, plus a 7-0 decision over Milton in the semis, held Kaminsky off the scoreboard similarly in the final, claiming a fall in 2:23.
The next all-area final was at 145, where South Lake’s Zoe Williamson (7th at 145) knocked off two ranked wrestlers en route to the title. After a forfeit in the quarters over 10th-ranked Degriece Coleman of Westside and fall (3:35) over 3rd-ranked Josie Sagasser of Ponte Vedra in the semis, Williamson put on a flurry late to overcome Tocoi Creek’s Aryan Benson, 8-3. Benson had also beaten two ranked opponents en route to the final, with pins over 4th-ranked Jah’Mya Hill of Mainland, over Ft Pierce Central, and over 6th-ranked Katherine Stewart of Bartram Trail in the semis.
At 155, Westside’s Karla Ortiz (6th) had four pins to take the title in another all-area final, with falls over Beachside, Nease and Bartram Trail’s Ava Burre (15th) in the semis before sealing her second Ponte Vedra title with a pin in the championship match (1:09) over Oakleaf’s Sofia Shirley-Montijo (20th). In so doing, Ortiz became the second area competitor to win two Own The Ocean titles (Clay’s Madisyn Blackburn did so in 2021). Shirley-Montijo got to the final after trailing 8th-ranked Jasmine Hecht of Orange Park, but rallying for a third-period pin.
Middleburg’s Cheyenne Cruce (2nd at 190) wasn’t scored upon in either of her matches at 190, with an 18-second fall over University (Orange City) in the semis. She had to go a bit longer to fall Ft Pierce Central’s Mia Johnson, but built a 7-0 lead behind two takedowns and a turn before securing the pin in 3:34.
Finally, Mainland’s Cheyenne Wigley (7th at 190) took home the 235 title, needing just 2:33 of mat time to do it. Wigley secured falls over Fletcher and Westside to get to the final, where she pinned South Dade’s Yoseline Perez (9th) in 31 seconds to close out the day.
Reaching the final meant a big thing, and some of the north’s best came up short against some of the state’s best.
Oakleaf’s Kalani Barrientos (1st at 120) reached the final at that weight behind pins over Lincoln and Ponte Vedra’s Natalia Choquegonza (9th at 120), but then took an 8-0 loss in the final to the state’s top-ranked 115, Freedom’s Cameron Galvin, who had scoring moves in each period.
Another 1vs1 matchup took place at 140, where top-ranked Olivia Richie of Ponte Vedra took pins over Freedom’s Isabel Perez (8th at 140) and Osceola’s Cathia Timas (9th at 145) to reach the final; there, her powerhouse offense was handcuffed by the top-ranked 135 in Florida, Ft Pierce Central’s Gabriella Perez, who got a takedown in the first and reversal in the third for a 5-0 decision.
Experience counted in the 170 weight class, where 2nd-ranked Oakleaf freshman Jayla Harrison had pins over Lincoln and Freedom to get to the final and 6th-ranked Freedom junior Salexa Lontoc-Ortiz. There, Lontoc-Ortiz needed just one takedown and a preliminary turn before securing the fall in 1:10.
Finally, Bartram Trail’s Giannina Simponpietri made a case for a state ranking with her finals run at 125, with pins over Freedom and Mainland, but she couldn’t overcome Freedom’s Alissa Brown-Washington (12th at 125) in the title round. Brown-Washington made the first takedown count, collecting a fall in 40 seconds.
Check out our gallery of action shots on the North Florida Matmen Facebook page and also on Instagram. Results from the tournament can be found HERE.