First NCHSAA Women’s Wrestling Regional Tournament Begins Thursday


With girls wrestling officially sanctioned by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association next season, the sport’s growth in the state continues.

In preparation for next weekend’s NCHSAA Women’s State Wrestling Invitational, regional competition will be held for the first time to qualify for the state competition.

At regional conferences covered by the Hickory Daily Record, 15 girls from nine schools will take to the carpet Thursday night in the Western Region, held at North Henderson High.

The regional and state competitions will be an open classification event involving all four state classes. Four regional competitions will be held across the state on Thursday, and the top four finishers in 12 separate weight divisions will advance to the state competitions.

The Women’s Invitational kicks off Friday, February 3rd at the RISE Sports Complex at Bermuda Run, with the final rounds wrapping up the following day at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse.

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Henderson North School, 5:30 p.m.

Wrestlers: Paulina Barrera-Vances, So. (132 pounds); Brianna Winters, So. (235).

About Trojans: Barrera-Vences finished the season in three separate women’s tournaments with an overall record of 2–6. Both victories were won with a pin. With limited action this season, Winters is aiming for his first win at the collegiate level.

Fighter: McKinsey Basinger, So. (235 pounds)

About wild cats: Basinger will move up in weight after starting at 195 pounds for Drawn for most of the year.

Wrestlers: Millifiora Harma (114 pounds); Ava Norris (185)

About Cavaliers: Norris is East Burke’s varsity rookie with a 182 rating, with a couple of victories. Harma is aiming for his first victory in eight collegiate matches.

Coaches: Billy Whisnant and Scott Brackett

Wrestlers: Yuleni Khang Sr. (100 pounds); Harley Moody, oh (114)

About Patriots: Khang is by far the most experienced and decorated wrestler in the group as she looks to make it to her third state tournament after finishing second last February. With 36-6 against everyone, Hang is the top seed in the 100. In women’s tournaments, she won the Holy Angels Invitational in Greensboro, where she was named the most outstanding wrestler. Moody is 8-4 overall, 7-2 girls, including 5-0 at the Lady Bearcat Invitational.

Wrestlers: Maggie Wang Sr (100 pounds); Miranda Valerio Sr. (age 107); Cindy Wang, So. (114)

About the Blue Devils: Valerio is the only one back from last year’s state tournament. A starter at the collegiate level (106), this season she is 15-5 overall. In the women’s events, she placed second at the Lady Knights Invitational held in North Henderson and won both matches at the West Wilkes. Maggie and Cindy Wang make their state debuts. Maggie Wang was 4-2 overall and placed third at the invitation of the Lady Knights.

Fighter: Emily Elliott, So. (120 pounds)

About NKSD: Elliot will make his first appearance at the state level. She is the team’s starter at the age of 120.

Fighter: Alaina Kiten Sr (120 lbs)

About the Spartans: Kiten will try to continue the success of the Spartans, who have had two state champions in the four years of the tournament (Abby Phillips, Jade Hutto). Kiten started at South Caldwell early in the season, mostly at 126.

Fighter: Ria Wright Jr. (107 pounds)

About warriors: Wright is looking to make it to his third state tournament. She is also looking to continue her climb at the state level after reaching the quarter-finals in 2021 and finishing fourth last winter. Team West Caldwell’s 106 weight starter is 21-14 against all wrestlers. She was third in the Warrior Invitational organized by West Caldwell.

Wrestlers: Melissa Ulloa Sr. (107 pounds); Ava Hutton Jr. (120).

About warriors: Both wrestlers start the West Iredell team and make their playoff debut. Ulloa (starter 113) has won two out of three matches at the Greyhound Classic in her only girls’ tournament. Hutton (132) was second at the Greyhound Classic.

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