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WIAA Writes History with First State Girls Wrestling Tournament, 12 Champions Crowned

By Gabby Lord-Klein, 02/01/22, 5:00PM CST


featured photo of 138-pound champion Marisa Roth of Brookfield Central by Stacy Schiesl. 

La Crosse, Wis. -- Inside the La Crosse Center was a championship experience the Wisconsin wrestling community and those in attendance won’t forget. There was no mistaking the magnitude. Sure, if you didn’t know any different it might have been a tournament like any other as far as wrestling is concerned. There were coaches with coffees in hand. Athletes milled about going through normal warmup routines. However, it wasn’t a normal tournament. It was the first-ever WIAA State Girls Individual Wrestling Tournament, and everyone in and around the arena felt it. For the first time in Wisconsin history, an arena was dedicated to an all-girls wrestling event at scale: 225 athletes from 105 teams.          

History Written
“You can only be first once.” That’s a phrase Elliot Hopkins of the National Federation of High School Associations shared live on Bally Sports Wisconsin. Hopkins oversees sanctioning and educational services and serves as the NFHS Director of Sports. The WIAA sanctioned girls wrestling by unanimous vote in June 2020. They were the 27th state association to do so, and the timing falls within a 
nationwide boom of high school girls’ participation. The weight of Hopkin’s phrase is all on the firsts—the first tournament, the first competitors, the first twelve champions, the first coaches, the first to witness. It was a momentous day for Wisconsin wrestling and a massive win for girls. 

Karina Torres, who placed runner up in the 100-pound weight class, said, “It’s going to create more opportunities for girls—for them to wrestle each other and for people to see what girls can do.” Torres, a senior this season, made three finals appearances in the WWF folkstyle state tournaments which included a first-place finish in 2021. 

The WIAA pulled out all the stops to provide a championship experience. The seemingly small details, like mat and podium decals, champion brackets, and athlete pass keepsakes, are all things that went into the event’s grandeur. At the conclusion of the semifinals the center mat was transformed into a stage where finalists would first meet during the parade of champions under spotlight. All matches were broadcast on Flowrestling, and the championship finals were aired statewide on Bally Sports Wisconsin, complete with commentary and interviews with the champions. 

Todd Schaaf, state chairperson for the WWF, was thrilled with the outcome. “This is such a big step forward for girls wrestling in Wisconsin,” he said. “It was evident the female competitors were beyond excited for the opportunity to compete. After talking about this day for years it is finally here. With the leadership of Mel Dow and the WIAA I can’t wait to see what they have in store for future events.” Dow, the Associate Director for the WIAA, said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the numbers double next year. 

Twelve Champions Crowned
The first-ever champion was Brooke Corrigan of De Pere in the 100-pound weight class. It felt like a statement opening of the door kind of moment. The first champion is a freshman. She came in to wrestle her first year of high school at the championship event and she has the potential to do it three more times. The decision makers of history met her story at the right time. The finals match was a tightly contested six-minute battle versus senior Karina Torres (Kenosha Indian Trail). Corrigan gave up the first two points but turned the match around by closing out the first period with a reversal at the buzzer and an escape point early in the second. Corrigan won the match 7-5 and then flushed with emotion. She brought her hands to her head momentarily and, with her arm raised high, turned around the arena with a big smile before hugging her parents at the corner of the mat. 

We got to witness that flush of emotion eleven more times.

Three seniors were able to experience their first official state championships and go out atop the podium. Earning state titles were Jefferson’s Sofia Brynman-Metcalf at 126, Brookfield Central’s Marisa Roth at 138, and Kaylie Upson of Philips at 235. All three came in with the number one seed. Roth, who will continue her academic and athletic career at Northern Michigan University, earned the tournaments fastest fall in :14 seconds. All three seniors have WWF folkstyle state titles from throughout their high school careers. 

The largest class of champions were juniors. Caitlyn Kelley, the 120-pound champion, was one of two finalists from Florence. Kelley said she’s happy to put Florence, a small town in the northern-most part of Wisconsin, on the map. 

Marinette’s 107-pound champion Koressa Allgeyer came in the ninth seed and busted her way into the finals with three falls and a 7-2 decision in the semis. Allgeyer served up a 16-6 major decision in the finals. Bopasoreya Quintana, the 114-pound champion, pinned her way through the tournament and earned the most amount of falls (5) in the least amount of time (5:48). 

Mineral Point’s cheering section for Kylie Rule, the 132-pound champion that came in as the seven seed, lit up for the 54th champion in program history. She hit a beautiful headlock in the finals on her way to a 9-0 victory over the number one seed Madelyn Sokolski. Sokolski, a freshman from Bonduel secured three falls before the finals. 

Antigo’s Alex Hofrichter, one of ten nationally ranked wrestlers in the field Saturday, showcased a variety of techniques and pinning combinations to collect three first-period falls on her way to the finals where she’d collect another to cap the day. 

Three other freshman joined Corrigan as underclassmen to grab state titles. 

The 145-pound final was the only freshman-freshman matchup. New London’s Hallie Krueger needed double overtime to take out Cuba City’s Chloe LaRue, 5-3. Cyriana Reinwald of Horicon made a name for herself serving pins all the way through the tournament at 165-pounds. Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Lyndsey Stark won the 185-pound title with a fall in 1:02. 

With 46 seniors in the field, 179 of these wrestlers have the potential to return next season. 

Other Happenings
The WIAA hosted a social to kick off a year-long celebration of 50-years of Title IX before the finals. The room was filled with trailblazers in women’s sports from across Wisconsin. Title IX, a federal civil rights law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding, has been instrumental for sports. 

Two-time Olympian, six-time world champion Adeline Gray was a special guest to the event. Gray presented awards to the medal winners as part of USA Wrestling’s athlete appearance program. She was onsite signing posters, taking photos and engaging with fans throughout the day. Gray reposted a highlight from Kylie Rule’s semifinal match on Twitter, saying, “It has been fun seeing the talent here at the Wisconsin Girls HS State Championship!” 

Mel Dow shared the following in reflection: “Reflecting back on the event, the most impactful observation was the realization that these athletes and their coaches truly appreciated this championship event. This included those who were still a bit skeptical, but by the end of the event, they saw not only the value but the competitiveness, support, and appreciation by those athletes competing. One coach, in particular, shared with me he questioned his athlete attending all the way up to arriving at the venue.  Once he saw the same anticipation and excitement he has seen for years from the boys as a wrestling coach in his athlete and all of the other girls at the tournament, it clicked that the girls have it too, and competing against girls brought it out.  He was motivated to go back to his community and help grow girls wrestling there. This is exactly what was predicted and I hope others jump on board.”

The WWF is proud to have partnered with the WIAA in helping this event come to life. WWF Women’s Director Laura Bartoszek and Head Women’s Coach Bryan Koontz were at the WWF table setup with Adeline, helping educate guests on the state and national opportunities available through Team Wisconsin

2022 High School State Champions
100 - Brooke Corrigan of De Pere
107 - Koressa Allgeyer of Marinette
114 - Bopasoreya Quintana of Sun Prairie
120 - Caitlyn Kelley of Florence/Niagara
126 - Sofia Brynman-Metcalf of Jefferson
132 - Kylie Rule of Mineral Point
138 - Marisa Roth of Brookfield Central
145 - Hailie Krueger of New London
152 - Alexandra Hofrichter of Antigo
165 - Cyriana Reinwald of Horicon
185 - Lyndsey Stark of Spring Valley/Elmwood
235 - Kaylie Upson of Phillips

View complete results from the historic day, here

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