OFA girls compete in first-time unified state prep wrestling meet
MADISON - Last season was the first WIAA Girls State Wrestling Meet. It was held separately from the boys in La Crosse.
This season the state wrestling meet is one, boys and girls, competing together in Madison at Kohl Center this weekend Feb. 23-25. It's the 80th state meet.
Both sophomore Aaliyah Zamora and senior Breanna Wier will compete in this meet starting with the girls' preliminary round on Thursday, Feb. 23 beginning at 3 p.m. The girls who win their first two matches today, will be able to compete for their place on the awards podium.
Wier was in the state meet last year and finished third. She is seeded No. 1 in her 152-pound weight class. Wier won the D-2 girls sectional title in the first-ever sectional girls meet at 152. She has an 8-0 record against female opponents this season and won the Wisconsin Wrestling Challenge 152-pound title a month ago. She faces River Valley's Olive Corbit (3-1), a freshman, in the prelims Thursday afternoon. If she wins she'll face either junior Makayla Howard (14-7) of Edgerton or Holmen sophomore Alexa Szak (25-11) in the quarterfinals. A win in this match guarantees a place on the awards podium as one of the top six wrestlers in the state.
"With everything Breanna has gone through this year (sickness and injuries) it will be tough, but she has already beaten the No. 4 seed by pin at the Wausau tournament," OFA head coach Dan Schulte said. "We (coaching staff) believe she is capable of winning it all this year, but she needs to take it one match at a time. State's tough in that some opponents, you don't know a lot about so it's hard to scout ahead of time. Obviously during sectionals we focused on that one match she had and things we need to improve on and we will do the same in state."
Zamora (3-7 overall), a sophomore was the lone person in her weight class in the sectional meet so she automatically qualified for state. However she will not be alone at state as there are 16 other wrestlers competing in all one class, big school against little school and vise-versa. Zamora is No. 12 seed in her bracket and she will face No. 4 seeded sophomore Ava Gardner of Marshfield (18-3). Prelims for the girls' state meet - which began last year and was wrestled in La Crosse - begin at 3 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 23. If Zamora wins she wrestle again in the quarterfinals Thursday evening. If she loses she was to wait to see who would lose in the quarterfinal match and hope it isn't Gardner, which would eliminate her from the tournament. The other match in the bracket has Oregon sophomore Raven Ringhand (14-5) up against Southern Door freshman Nora LeFevre (15-3).
Also competing at state will be the Mondovi/Eleva-Strum co-op team's first state entrant - sectional champion Cody Wagner at 152 pounds. Winning a sectional title has its benefits. Not only does Wagner get a first round bye but if he wins his first match during Friday's quarterfinals, which start at 11:15 a.m., he is assured of placing in the state meet. Wagner faces the winner of the Christian Schuh-Eli Leonard match. Schuh (16-10) is a junior from Monroe and Leonard (40-6) is a freshman from the Sugar River (Belleville/Monticello/New Glarus) co-op. Semifinals are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.
The championship final matches will be aired live on Bally Sports Wisconsin. Please check local cable listings for the Bally Sports Wisconsin channel in your area. The live programming aired on Bally Sports Wisconsin is available online on the Bally Sports website with cable authentication. The finals will also be streamed with purchase of the Bally Sports app. All mats of the pre-finals matches and the third- and fifth-place matches will be streamed live on WIAA.TV with a subscription to the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for $11.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription button at the top right of the page.
Access results through the WIAA website by navigating to the wrestling homepage and selecting the Tournament Information option in the right column or by accessing the Trackwrestling.com website. Receive updates of the State Individual Wrestling Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawr. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.