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High school girls wrestling: Maple Mountain wins state championship in combined classification tournament

Nya Seiuli of Maple Mountain and Ashley Camacho of Maple Mountain wrestle in the 190 weight class at the 5A/3A/2A/1A girls wrestling state championship meet at Mountain View High School in Orem on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
Nya Seiuli of Maple Mountain and Ashley Camacho of Maple Mountain wrestle in the 190 weight class at the 5A/3A/2A/1A girls wrestling state championship meet at Mountain View High School in Orem on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Female high school wrestlers came from all over the state and took to the mat at Mountain View High School Wednesday. It marked the first time in UHSAA history that state champions were crowned in girls wrestling with Monday’s 6A state tournament getting things started.

Without every classification fielding enough participants, 1A, 2A, 3A and 5A combined for their sport’s inaugural state championship tournament.

After competing with and defeating many boys over the years, American Leadership Academy senior Sage Mortimer had the opportunity to win a state championship against Donna Wright of Maple Mountain. It was not the state championship she had always envisioned for herself.

“It’s exciting that I get to be part of the first girls’ tournament in Utah,” Mortimer said, fighting back tears. “But I am just disappointed that I got the chance to wrestle my senior year against the boys taken away from me. It makes me emotional just thinking about it. So when I won this tournament, it was exciting and I am grateful I get to wrestle this year, but I am disappointed and frustrated that I didn’t get the opportunity to wrestle against the guys.”

Despite Mortimer’s victory over Wright, American Leadership Academy fell to second overall behind Maple Mountain. Maple Mountain ended the day with 192.5 points while American Leadership Academy scored 144. The two top scoring schools were trailed by third-place Rich with 108 points.

Maple Mountain head coach Billy Cox had prepared his girls all year for this moment.

“They have sacrificed a lot. They have come in, we’ve had some really good, hard practices,” he said. “We’ve gone to lots of tournaments to push them. I want to put them in deep water. I told them from the very first, I’m going to put you in deep water and you are going to learn how to swim.”

The Golden Eagles’ head coach felt that his team’s success started with the basics. “I want my girls to get to the point where they are growing as humans. My philosophy in my room is ‘first I make a good human, then I make a good wrestler,’” he said.

Maple Mountain applied the lessons Cox taught them, with nine girls qualifying for the semifinals. Two of the finals pitted Golden Eagles against each other. Senior Ashley Camacho (190) pinned junior teammate Nya Seiuli to take the grand prize. That was followed by Morgan Honsvick (245) defeating Aurellia Ramos in two and a half minutes.

The first girl to win an individual state championship for Maple Mountain was Abigail Archibald (150). The senior grappler throttled Farmington’s Jessica Hacking for a 17-1 victory. After years of wrestling, Archibald was excited to finally receive more recognition.

“It’s been kind of frustrating the past couple years that I’ve wrestled in the girls’ state championships without it being recorded (as a UHSAA sanctioned sport),” Archibald said. “So I think it’s pretty neat that this is the first year that it’s actually going to be recorded, and I get to be a part of it.”

Other individual champions of the day were American Leadership Academy’s Rachel Camacho (108), Jacqueline Hernandez (120) and Olivia Carrillo (136), Enterprise’s Corrie Williams (124), Mountain View’s Lillian Spieth (128), Grantsville’s Jade Garcia (132) and Hannah Broderick (170), Springville’s Hotaia Valeti (140), Duchesne’s Kacy Mecham (145), and Timpview’s Taimane Fiatoa (160).