WNY girls wrestling continues to grow with a trip to the premier state championship

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — It’s in its fifth season since Division VI cleared it First high school girls wrestling tournament32 competitors from Western New York will compete in the Opening Ceremony NYSPHSAA Girls Wrestling Invitational Friday in Syracuse.

“It’s long overdue,” said Alex Conti, head of the girls’ wrestling division. “We’re now in the 51st year since Title IX passed. We’ve had a commission together since 2014, and we’ve been working hard to make it happen. It’s kind of crazy that New York State didn’t have that, seeing as 36 other states we beat.”

While girls’ wrestling is not yet fully approved for the NYSPHSAA tournament, last summer girls’ wrestling was approved as an “emerging sport” for development. This created an invitation, which will bring together 208 girls, 16 in each of the 13 weight classes, for the all-day event at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College.

“This is an exciting time for us as we host our first official girls-only wrestling event to compete in a statewide invitational tournament,” NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas stated in a press release. “There are approximately 1,000 girls competing on girl wrestling teams across the state and we are thrilled to be able to organize an event to showcase them. [Friday]. We hope this will develop into a state championship in the near future.”

NYSPHSAA was selected from a pool of 456 applicants based on experience, grade level, and representation across the state. Division VI is one of six in the state that includes all-girls teams, and 10 of the 12 divisions sanction girls’ wrestling in some form, according to the NYSPHSAA.

Several WNY actresses competed in the Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championship this past winter that drew participants from Divisions III, IV, V, and VI. The peak event of the season will take place on February 18 at Lake Chautauqua.

“When I first started, there were girls-like teams, but there weren’t many girls, and usually all the girls wrestled on the men’s teams,” Alexia Thomann, a sophomore at Lakeshore, told News 4 before she won the 118-pound event. “. The title in last year’s multi-sector championship.

“I feel like a lot of girls are getting into it and there are a lot of new girls as well. So there are a lot of new people getting into the sport.”

West Seneca Jr.’s Christina Evans and Megan Edwards in Lewiston Porter were multiple champions at various weights last year and are now highly rated in the 145-pound class in the state.

Here are the wrestlers from Division VI vying for spots in the final matches scheduled to begin at 6pm on Friday:

94 pounds: Meyah Aponte (Fredonia), Junior; Lily Pechunka (Niagara Whitfield), 8th grade

100 lbs: Leah White (Fredonia), student; Gabriella Barron (Niagara Whitfield), seventh grader; AJ Johnson (Fredonia), junior

107 pounds: Hannah McCarley (North Tonawanda), junior; Brenna McCarley (North Tonawanda), junior; Brooklyn Brill (Falconer), senior

114 pounds: Meliah McKinney-Updegraph (Lockport), Senior; Marissa Tara (Orchard Park), a student

120 pounds: Emma Schindler (Juanda), senior; Madison Szymanowski (Chautauqua Lake), junior

126 pounds: Gabriela Testa (Chatuqua Lake), student; Alexa Doxie (Niovani) 7th grade

132 pounds: Ke’ya Stevens (Gowanda), senior; Mia Smith (Chatuqua Lake), student; Alexia Thomann (Lake Shore), sophomore

138 pounds: Gwyneth Edwards (Leo Port), Senior; Avery White (Frontier), a student; Neva Snake (Niagara Whitfield) 8th grade; Sophia Gervasio (Chatuqua Lake), Jr

145 pounds: Christina Evans (West Seneca), junior; Megan Edwards (Leo Port), senior; Caroline Apthorpe (Chatuqua Lake), Jr.; Lillian Hyde (Lake Chatuqua), 7th grade

152 pounds: Michaela Thomas (Iroquois), student; Bella Andis (Lockport), student; Eva Colon-Diesus (Dunkirk), student; Lynn Cuthbert (Fredonia), junior

165 pounds: Gianna Cherry (Niagara Whitfield), senior; Ava Bragg (Lockport), freshman

185 pounds: Doris Baker (North Tonawanda), junior; Maria Palca (Springville Griffith), a junior; Khamia J’Maxwell (Lockport), freshman

235 pounds: Gabi Freeburg (Chautauqua Lake), freshman

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