In the parade of champions, four girls from Seymour High School walked the floor.
Ashley Trujillo, Emma Gillaspy, Jocelyn Soto and Kate Snook represented the Owls on Friday at the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals at Hamilton Heights High School.
The tournament was the first time at state for each of the girls, who are all in their inaugural season with the SHS wrestling program. It was the third straight year the IHSGW conducted a state competition.
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Once all of the teams representing the state were announced, the girls hit the mats.
The eight-person draws featured the top-four finishers from both the north and south regionals.
While none of them were put under the finals spotlights, the Owls came to compete.
Snook (160 pounds) and Gillaspy (170) both placed fifth for the Owls on the evening, while Soto and Trujillo each placed eighth.
Going into state, Seymour head coach Todd Weaver and his staff challenged the girls.
“Like we do with all of our wrestlers, we told them to be mean and be aggressive,” he said. “It takes a special kind of attitude to wrestle. If you’re not going to do that, things won’t go your way. I think we’re capable of doing that every time.”
After losing by fall (3:52) to Penn’s Aiesha Helepa in the opening round, Snook pinned Greenfield-Central’s Chloe Pike (1:00) in her second match. In the placings match, Snook won by a 4-0 decision over New Albany’s Jordan Wallin-Swanson.
“It was a little overwhelming at first, but once we started, it wasn’t bad,” Snook said. “It felt really good to represent Seymour. It felt like I was finally doing something for my school that not many others have a chance to. I think I’m going to do it again next year. It was a lot of fun.”
Huntington North’s Amaya Sunderman narrowly defeated Gillaspy (3-2 decision) in the first round. Gillaspy responded by pinning (0:19) teammate Jocelyn Soto before winning 3-2 over Rensselaer Central’s Trixie Maguran-ja.
“It was a really good time. It was really eye-opening and challenging but a really good thing to be a part of,” Gillaspy said. “I really didn’t have any huge expectations. I knew it would be similar to regional. My expectations were met at the competition. There were some really tough girls there.”
Weaver felt Gillaspy and Snook did a nice job of bouncing back after losing their opening matches.
“They were really good matches,” Weaver said. “They had to hang on for their wins. It was really good to see. It wasn’t a ‘take someone down for a pin and win.’ They went out and battled the whole match. That’s exciting to see them winning at that level in that manner.”
Soto finished eighth overall, losing by fall (1:17) to Lebanon’s Sarah Huse in her final match.
The Owls’ Ashley Trujillo fell (0:38) to Yorktown’s eventual state champion, Alara Boyd, in the first round. Due to injury, Trujillo didn’t wrestle her final match, placing her eighth.
“I felt like it was a lot of pressure, but it also felt like all of this hard work was going to pay off at state,” Trujillo said. “Everyone was really friendly. It was a new experience.”
Overall, Weaver felt the tournament was a success.
“We felt like it went pretty well,” Weaver said. “Unfortunately, one of our girls got injured and couldn’t finish her last match. If you lost your first round, you couldn’t wrestle back for third, but we had two girls wrestle as high as they could, which was fifth.”