3 Southern Utah wrestlers win individual titles at girls state tournament

Hannah Thacker of Canyon View has her arm raised in victory after winning the over 200-pound bracket at the Utah Girls High School State Championships, Orem, Utah, Feb. 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Dallas Lowry, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah schools saw three individual state winners at the Utah Girls High School Wrestling state championships on Monday.

Crystal Taormina of Crimson Cliffs has her arm raised by referee after winning a match in the 115-pound bracket at the Utah Girls High School State Championships, Orem, Utah, Feb. 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Dallas Lowry, St. George News / Cedar City News

Crystal Taormina of Crimson Cliffs High School took the state title in the 115-pound bracket, Tessa Campbell of Canyon View High won the 125-pound bracket and Campell’s teammate Hannah Thacker placed first in the over 200-pound competition.

The tournament, which took place on Presidents Day at Telos Academy in Orem, featured dozens of female wrestlers from around the state. A total of 49 high schools spanning all classifications participated, including a few that fielded nearly a full roster, such as Westlake and Fremont.

Girls wrestling is not yet sanctioned as a separate sport by the Utah High School Activities Association. Although female athletes are allowed to wrestle in official UHSAA matches and events, they currently do so only amongst their male counterparts.

Canyon View head coach Dallas Lowry told Cedar City News that the situation may soon change.

“We will know for sure in March, but it sounds promising,” Lowry said, noting that several other states have already officially sanctioned girls wrestling.

Lowry, who has coached Campbell for the past two years, described her as being “tenacious, with a will to never give up.”

Campbell, a junior, won all four of her matches by pin on Monday, beating out 17 other wrestlers in the 125-pound bracket. The opponents Campbell defeated, in order, were Taylor Martin of Westlake, Haylee Cope of Fremont, Taci Tapia of Carbon and Alexa Camacho of Maple Mountain.

In the over 200-pound bracket, which had just four entrants, Thacker won both of her matches by pin to claim the state title. She first defeated Dyasha Trigo of Hillcrest with a first-round pin, then beat Fuetahi Suka-Hanisi of Layton in similar fashion in the finals.

Lowry also praised Thacker’s dedication throughout the year, saying the junior had “worked hard every morning to win that championship.”

Meanwhile, in the 115-pound bracket, Crimson Cliffs’ Taormina won all three of her matches by pin to take the championship. She first beat Lucy Meiko Johnson of Olympus, followed by Siarra Sherod of Alta. Then, in the finals, Taormina pinned Abigail Griffith of Providence Hall midway through the first round.

Other Southern Utah wrestlers who competed in the state tournament included Genesis Marin Diaz of Pine View; Ivy Holyoak of Canyon View; and Kayrence Barlow, Meg Fischer, Merci Jessop and Celesta Barlow, all of Water Canyon.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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