Clark County Wrestling — Girls followup

Recaps and reactions from Saturday’s Girls Wrestling Clark County Championships at Skyview High School:

It doesn’t have the four-decade tradition of the boys tournament, nor does it have the depth of competition at most weight classes. But the girls version of the Clark County Wrestling Championships certainly does not lack for enthusiasm and intensity. Below is reaction from the girls who won titles.

Team scores: Battle Ground 122, Washougal 84, Skyview 51, Union 44, Mountain View 39, Columbia River 36, Evergreen 34, Ridgefield 16, La Center 14, Heritage 9, Fort Vancouver 7, Camas 4.

103 pounds (6 entries)
Championship: Julie Yoshioka (Sky) d. Dao Nguyen (Eve) 7-3. 3rd/4th: Kassi Strano (BG) pinned Emily Alder (Wash) 0:22.

Yoshioka, a Skyview senior, placed second to her sister Elise in 2010. She pinned Taryn Lommasson of Camas i n the semifinals and took the lead with an early takedown in the finals, improving to 14-2 overall this season.

Said Yoshioka, “It feel real good because my sister won last year and I wanted to keep it in the family.”
“It feels great. I knew it was my last chance to get a Clark County championship. I was confident, but still nervous. I knew it would be a tough match.”

112 pounds (5 entries)
Championship: Tiffany Hu (Union) pinned Erin Tully (Wash) 1:16. 3rd/4th: Tara Duey (Wash) pinned Aleya Lamvick (Sky) 0:46.

After taking her lumps last year against Madelynn McIlwain of Washougal — including in the County finals — Hu is unbeaten against girls this season. both of her wins on Saturday came via first-round pins.
Hu said she caught Tully with a head and arm hold to produce the quick pin. It is on her feet where Hu feels much improved since 2010.

“My stand-up game is a lot better. I’m able to defend a lot better.
“Losing to Maddie (McIlwain) all the time last year really taught me a lot and motivated me to come back and do well this year.”

119 (7 entries)
Championship: Kira Kelsey (Uni) d. Chelsea Reynosa (BG) 6-0. 3rd/4th: Braman Warren (Wash) pinned Amanda Langdon (BG) 2:51.

This was a rematch of a 2010 Clark County final, with a reversed result.

Kelsey said she put in more work to improve her fitness this season, and is seeing results. On Saturday, she was able to maintain control of Reynosa after scoring an early takedown.

“That was really important,” Kelsey said of scoring the first points in the match.

“This (win) meant everything,” Kelsey said. “It’s a definite milestone in my season. It gives me the confidence I can go on and do well (in regionals and state).

“(Reynosa) is ranked No. 2 in the state, so she’s really helping to push me to reach my potential.”

125 (8 entries)
Championship: Galynn Becker (MV) pinned Lauren Martin (Rid) 3:44. 3rd/4th: Danielle Higgins (MV) pinned Susan Urias (BG) 1:11.

Becker showed up Saturday expecting to compete at 119, but didn’t make weight. She’s a senior who started wrestling five years ago. She went to state as a sophomore, but missed last season with a shoulder injury.
So, despite moving up to 125 pounds, she didn’t want to go home without a county title.

“I’ve been striving for this. This is definitely a dream come true. That sounds corny, but it’s true.”

Becker said she was discouraged when she didn’t make weight at 119, but credited encouragement from coaches and her dad for getting her mind reset. She won her first two matches with first-round pins, so she felt good by the time the finals rolled around.

130 (4 entries)
Championship: Allicia Cain (Wash) pinned Avery Miller (MV) 1:06. 3rd/4th: Diana Chavez (Her) pinned Kelsi Prater (BG) 0:37.

Cain, a first-year wrestler for Washougal, said she took advantage of an opportunity to pin Miller barely a minute in to their match.

“I think she made a mistake, because I got her and turned her quickly,” Cain said.

What was she thinking when she took Miller to the mat? “That I can do this. It’s just really, really fun.”
Cain, a sophomore is wrestling because friend and teammate Tara Duey talked about how much fun she has wrestling. She said the biggest challenge is practicing every day.

“You’ve got to keep your commitment to yourself and your team,” she said.

135 (2 entries)
Championship: Samantha Schoene (CR) pinned Hannah VanOsel (BG) 0:48. 3rd/4th: none.

It was only one match. But River’s Samantha Schoene was only cleared to compete on Jan. 6, so any match is a sweet deal.

Knee surgery to repair damage from a soccer injury kept Schoene sidelined until this month, though she has been training with the Chieftains. The knee, she said, is completely healed.

She said training as if she was competing had her ready to go when doctors gave the go-ahead.

“It just comes from working hard, and from having good workout partners,” she said of her midseason conditioning.

Even though she only had one opponent at 135, Schoene was proud to be a Clark County champion.

“It does give me a lot of confidence, especially coming off the knee injury. People don’t expect you to be as good as you were (pre-injury), but when you put in the work it turns out that you can be.”

140 (3 entries)
Championship: Anna Stauffer (Skyview) pinned Kendra Bellinger (CR) 2:24. 3rd: Diana Betancourt (FV).

A state runner-up at 135 pounds last season, Anna Stauffer pinned her way to this 140-pound Clark County crown.

“I kept the intensity up and kept up the pressure,” Stauffer said. “It was just about keeping consistent pressure, and just keeping all of my moves quick.”

A Skyview senior, she improved her season mark to 7-2 with two wins on Saturday.

“I’m happy with myself,” she said, noting that as a senior who doesn’t plan to compete beyond high school, days like Saturday are worth savoring.

“It makes it more rewarding knowing that all the hard work is paying off,” she said.

145 (2 entries)
Championship: Stephanie Simon (Eve) pinned Mickinzie McKracken (CR) 2:46. 3rd/4th: none.

After coming within a couple points of a state title last season, Evergreen’s Stephanie Simon is certainly focused in 2011.

Now a junior, Simon finished third at 152 pounds last season. Her only state tournament loss was by three points in the semifinals to the wrestler who won the title.

To improve her chances of winning a state title in 2011, she joined the cross country team in the fall (running varsity) in order to improve her stamina and help her compete at a lighter wrestling weight.

Coming so close to a state title as a sophomore, Simon said, “makes me want to kick some butt at state this year.”

She is a bit frustrated to have found only nine opponents so far this season (9-0). But she is focusing on getting the most out of practicing against boys.

“Wrestling against tough guys (at practice) I have to be quicker, and also makes me stronger,” Simon said.

152 (3 entries)
Championship: Victoria Carlson (BG) d. Natasha Hoffman (MV) 8-6 OT. 3rd: Mignon Parson (Wash)

After winning the most competitive finals match of the girls tournament, Battle Ground’s Victoria Carlson summed up the Clark County meet this way:

“This is the second biggest thing next to state. This is my county, and I’m No. 1.”

She is 7-1 this season, but her county championship was a true test. Mountain View’s Natasha Hoffman scored an early takedown and briefly had Carlson in a tight spot in the first round.

Carlson said she followed her instincts while working the score back even. The winning takedown points came in the closing seconds of the first extra minute.

Carlson said it was her second overtime win of her career. Her first high school victory came in a match that took extra time, she said.

160 (3 entries)
Championship: Mukayla Milam (BG) d. Ladawna Jurgens (Wash) 14-10. 3rd: Sophie Ouk (Sky).

Milam won an entertaining, back-and-forth match with Jurgens, improving to 7-2 this season and grabbing a County title after placing third in this tournament last season.

She said having been through the Clark County experience, with a significant crowd and wrestlers who are highly motivated helped her hang in until the end against Jurgens.

Milam said, “I learned that if I stick with it and don’t give up, I can have success.”

Jurgens had a bye into the final match, while Milam got there by pinning Sophis Ouk of Skyview.

171 (2 entries)
Championship: Mary Pitner (BG) pinned Cassandra Helvey (LC), 0:37. 3rd/4th: none.

Battle Ground’s Mary Pitner was happy just to have someone to wrestle on Saturday. Not that she spent much time on the mat. It took just 37 seconds for the first-year wrestler to become a county champion.

“I love it,” Pitner said of the sport, and the environment at Skyview on Saturday. “It’s a really great experience,” she said after improving her record to 4-1.

The best part of wrestling? “Not having to depend on others to do everything for you, but working to earn your place.”

171-and-over (2 entries)
Championship: Mixtly Simon (BG) pinned Kiersta Moore (Wash), 0:19. 3rd/4th: none.

This was actually the second county title for Simon. But last year she won because no one else entered the top weight class.

This year she spent most of the day hanging out with teammates, and supporting her brother, Miguel. She said she started focusing for her match about 20 minutes ahead of its start. She needed just 19 seconds to fish it.

When she was younger, Simon was a regional judo champion. Though its been several years since she participated in judo, the techniques she learned were on display when she threw Washougal’s Moore to the mat for the quick pin.

“I love the adrenaline rush you get when wrestling,” she said. “And I like it because you don’t have to depend on anybody, just yourself.

Simon said she plans to wrestle at the 171 weight level for the championship meets, so as not to run up against any heavier opponents.

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