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Three five-time champs highlight girls’ high school wrestling state meet

More than 250 female wrestlers from 81 schools participated in what’s expected to be the last state championship meet outside the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s sanctioning authority on Saturday at Tates Creek High School.

Tates Creek Coach Scotty Teater helped foster girls-only wrestling in Kentucky from an idea to the first statewide meet five years ago, which included about 100 wrestlers. Girls have been allowed to compete with boys for years, but they did not have their own competitions.

Trinity Gottler helped Tates Creek cap that journey by earning most outstanding wrestler honors to go along with her fifth straight state title at the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association’s Girls’ Wrestling State Championships.

“When I started, there was about four girls at max, maybe, wrestling. So, to see how much it’s grown over the past years is really, really good,” Gottler said last Thursday as she prepared to wrestle in the co-ed city meet.

Gottler wrestled and has been a track thrower for Anderson County until this year. She’ll do both for Campbellsville University after graduation. She took up wrestling as a way to keep fit during softball’s offseason. She loved the sport immediately and colleges began to take notice. She retired from softball.

“I couldn’t believe that there were coaches from out of state contacting me,” she said.

Last year, Gottler was also the Region 6 champ at shot put and discus and finished second in both events at state. Gottler likens the atmosphere of the state girls’ meet to that of any co-ed meet she’s participated in.

“They’re really, really loud,” Gottler said of the crowd. “It’s pretty close to the guys’ with how many people are there and how much they get into it.”

Three female wrestlers marked their fifth consecutive state titles at the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association’s Girls’ Wrestling State Championships on Saturday at Tates Creek High School. They are Grant County’s Olivia Messerly, left and Addison Messerly, right, and Tates Creek’s Trinity Gottler.
Three female wrestlers marked their fifth consecutive state titles at the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association’s Girls’ Wrestling State Championships on Saturday at Tates Creek High School. They are Grant County’s Olivia Messerly, left and Addison Messerly, right, and Tates Creek’s Trinity Gottler.

While Gottler earned the most outstanding wrestler award for 144-285 classes, Grant County’s Olivia Messerly earned the honor for the lighter classes, from 100 to 138.

Sisters Olivia and Addison Messerly and Gottler all celebrated winning five straight state titles in their respective classes at the event.

Taylor County won the team competition with a solid showing across all the brackets despite not having an individual champ. The win ended second-place Harrison County’s streak as three-time defending team champion.

The growing popularity of girls’ wrestling at the high school and college levels put the sport on the radar for the KHSAA over the last couple of years, but the pandemic slowed its path to sanctioning. The KHSAA’s board of control is expected to consider sanctioning girls’ wrestling and a few other sports at its next meeting in February.

“It just means the world to give these young ladies opportunities,” Teater said ahead of the state meet. “I’ve always thought wrestling is just one of the best sports for young people. It builds discipline and character and ability. It takes everything to be a wrestler, and I don’t think that just boys should be able to experience that.”

And it’s not just girls’ wrestling that’s growing.

“Team numbers are way up. The city’s up in Lexington. So, we have a lot more full rosters,” Teater said. “I think kids are wanting to get out and do stuff now. They realized after they lost his ability to do it, now they really want to get out there and do things.”

KYWCA Girls’ State Wrestling Championships

At Tates Creek High School

Top three listed. Complete results online at bit.ly/3HYkHIT

Team standings — Taylor County, 151; Harrison County, 132; North Hardin, 138.

100 — 1. Mia Green, North Hardin; 2. Tanya Bacon, Union County; 3. Alicai Galindo, Bryan Station.

107 — 1. Jordan Muncy, Bell County; 2. Catherine Head, Bardstown; 3. Sutton Fuller, Union County.

114 — 1. Talynn Clark, Ohio County; 2. Hannah Foster, Harlan County; 3. Hannah Pittman, Anderson County.

120 — 1. Tatum Millet, Oldham County; 2. Faith Ramos, North Hardin; 3. Lacey Gilbert, Woodford County.

126 — 1. Olivia Messerly, Grant County; 2. Sophie Anderson, Walton Verona; 3. Abbie Oliver, Taylor County.

132 — 1. Lauren Walton, Woodford County; 2. Marlie Bell, East Carter; 3. Alyvia Cutler, Taylor County.

138 — 1. Addison Messerly, Grant County; 2. Mayte Lopez, Apollo 3. Nastaja Cooper, Taylor County.

145 — 1. Emily Hendricks, Bullitt East; 2. Gabriella Ocasio, Simon Kenton; 3. Bryana Hughart, Taylor County.

152 — 1. Sierra Young, Madison Southern; 2. Jenny Fortner, Harrison County; 3. MaKenna Hendricks, Trigg County.

165 — 1. Trinity Gottler, Tates Creek; 2. Caitlin Ritchie, Perry County Central; 3. Jayla Young, Central.

185 — 1. Kendra Johnston, Paducah Tilghman; 2. Anna Ruiz, Great Crossing; 3. Hailey Butts, Madison Central.

235 — 1. Haley Young, Madison Southern; 2. Layla Davis, Harrison County; 3. Ellen North, Knox Central.

285 — 1. Gabby Wilson, Fern Creek; 2. Sarah Hellmann, Male; 3. Harley Coppage, Harrison County.