Colorado Girls State Tournament an ‘Unequivocal Success’: Results & Recap

Nicole Koch of Delta looks for the pin in her 118 pound state finals match/Photo by Nick Jurney

Emotion. Drama. Heartbreak. Blood time. Glory.

The first officially recognized Colorado High School girls state wrestling tournament had everything one would expect from a championship-caliber competition that showcased one of the most intimate and mentally challenging sports around.

In its first year as an officially CHSAA pilot sport, the warriors of Colorado high school girls wrestling showed that they belonged on the big stage Saturday at Thornton High School.

In all, 70+ girls made history just by competing in the tournament, which was preceded by two regional qualifiers a week ago. In the end 10 were crowned as the first officially recognized state champions — a major leap as the sport aims for an official CHSAA sanctioning in the near future.

Featuring a tournament hashtag #GirlsWrestleBest, the state championships looked, felt, and served the part well — a testament to the athletes, coaches, parents, officials, and administrators who have poured their energy into getting the sport off the ground.

After a full day of wrestling and the third place matches already decided, the state finals began with one center mat, set in front of a giant American flag backdrop and a crowded Trojan Gym, and the finalists entered to the synth-y sounds of ‘Pulstar’ by Vangelis (a Colorado Wrestling Network favorite) during the Parade of Champions.

Starting things off was a finals match between Prairie View’s Zariyah Alvarado and Ponderosa’s Chailyn Perez. Up 1-0 heading into the final two minutes, Alvarado locked up a near-side cradle to secure three near-fall points and all of the cushion she would need to become the state’s first girls wrestling state champion.

Alvarado started wrestling at six-years-old, following in her brother’s footsteps, and said that she initially liked it because she was good at it, and she likes to do things she’s good at. Point proven.

“I feel really good, I feel like there is a lot of pressure taken off,” Alvarado said. “I like how (wrestling) makes you a better person all-around. I hope that there’s more girls who come out and aren’t afraid of it. I hope it really grows more.”

And it wouldn’t be a championship event without a dramatic, come-from-behind victory, right?

Loveland’s Ashley Terpstra obliged that request with her victory at 127 pounds.

Trailing 6-1 heading to the third, the longtime jiu-jitsuist-turned-grappler needed something big. So she sunk a deep bar-and-half-nelson on her opponent, Doherty’s Sarah Savidge, and drove until the referee slapped the mat. Terpstra got up and danced in jubilation, and later stood atop the podium with a cut over her eye and a new gold medal in hand.

“I just knew I had to dig deep and be the tougher person,” Terpstra said. “I’m just so glad to be a part of (the state tournament) because I know it’s going to make history. And man, it feels good taking first, too.”

Note: The above Tweets include an incorrect spelling. The correct spelling of the Loveland state champion’s name is Ashley Terpstra. 

Mullen’s Alina Antillon was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler after winning the 136-pound division, an honor bestowed upon her by the coaches who voted post-tournament. The state meet was sponsored this year by LuchaFIT, a nutrition-centered lifestyle brand and blog that focuses on providing resources to female wrestlers of all ages and experience levels.

Katherine Shai, a former collegiate national champion at Menlo College and an Olympic trials bronze medal winner, founded LuchaFIT with one goal: to help female wrestlers get the most out of their experience.

“I thought from an educational standpoint to present women’s wrestling in a new kind of light for the Average Joe to understand, there needed to be some kind of resource available,” Shai said. “I think it’s truly exciting to be kind of on the ground level of women’s wrestling building (in Colorado). Colorado wrestling in general, the girls and the guys, is really growing to the point where the girls and the guys are coming out and wrestling outstanding even internationally.

Zariah Alvarado locks up a cradle on her way to the 100-pound state title/Photo by Nick Jurney

“There are a lot of like-minded people behind this who know what this means … I think when it comes to who is most excited, it’s obviously the girls. They’re thrilled.”

In its first season as a CHSAA pilot sport, and potentially just a spring vote away from becoming an officially sanctioned sport, girls wrestling in Colorado continues to grow and thrive — and it all culminated Saturday afternoon with the state championship finals.

When asked if he would quantify the first pilot season for girls wrestling, and the state tournament, as a success, CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Ernie Derrera was succinct.

“Unequivocally,” Derrera said. “This is everything that we had hoped for and more when we first started looking at girls wrestling as a sanctioned, standalone sport.

“It’s just getting bigger. Over the next two, three years I can see it growing to three, maybe four regions. Youth numbers show that the interes is there, this gym (Thornton High School) showed that the interest is there, and these girls deserve that. They are great wrestlers.”

Here are the final results from the 2019 Colorado Girls High School Wrestling Championship:

100

  • 1st Place – Zariyah Alvarado of Prairie View
  • 2nd Place – Chailyn Perez of Ponderosa
  • 3rd Place – Rosalind Ramos Cruz of Arapahoe
  • 4th Place – Jessica Mosqueda of Holyoke

1st Place Match

  • Zariyah Alvarado (Prairie View) 11-0, So. over Chailyn Perez (Ponderosa) 8-2, So. (Dec 4-0)

3rd Place Match

  • Rosalind Ramos Cruz (Arapahoe) 18-3, Fr. over Jessica Mosqueda (Holyoke) 18-17, Sr. (Dec 5-3)

105

  • 1st Place – Mikayla Johnson of Mountain Vista
  • 2nd Place – Shenin Steele of Lewis – Palmer
  • 3rd Place – Lillian McDonald of Pueblo Central
  • 4th Place – Jolaie Cummings of Northridge

1st Place Match

  • Mikayla Johnson (Mountain Vista) 20-4, Jr. over Shenin Steele (Lewis – Palmer) 16-1, So. (MD 8-0)

3rd Place Match

  • Lillian McDonald (Pueblo Central) 8-2, Sr. over Jolaie Cummings (Northridge) 13-6, So. (Fall 0:42)

111

  • 1st Place – Crystalyn Felan of Las Animas
  • 2nd Place – Faith Herrera of Skyview
  • 3rd Place – Maya DeGraff of Denver North
  • 4th Place – Kassandra Reyes of Mead

1st Place Match

  • Crystalyn Felan (Las Animas) 9-0, Fr. over Faith Herrera (Skyview) 21-6, Sr. (Dec 3-2)

3rd Place Match

  • Maya DeGraff (Denver North) 15-7, Sr. over Kassandra Reyes (Mead) 8-5, Fr. (Fall 3:52)

118

  • 1st Place – Nicole Koch of Delta
  • 2nd Place – Audrey Bankes of Loveland
  • 3rd Place – Savannah Cosme of Chatfield
  • 4th Place – Aminah Hunter of Doherty

1st Place Match

  • Nicole Koch (Delta) 7-1, Fr. over Audrey Bankes (Loveland) 18-4, Jr. (Fall 2:52)

3rd Place Match

  • Savannah Cosme (Chatfield) 26-2, Fr. over Aminah Hunter (Doherty) 11-6, So. (Fall 2:19)

127

  • 1st Place – Ashley Terpstra of Loveland
  • 2nd Place – Sarah Savidge of Doherty
  • 3rd Place – Kami Fiordalis of Chaparral
  • 4th Place – Allison Laskoski of Fort Lupton

1st Place Match

  • Ashley Terpstra (Loveland) 21-3, Jr. over Sarah Savidge (Doherty) 16-5, Fr. (Fall 4:44)

3rd Place Match

  • Kami Fiordalis (Chaparral) 18-6, Jr. over Allison Laskoski (Fort Lupton) 21-5, Fr. (MD 10-1)

136

  • 1st Place – Alina Antillon of Mullen
  • 2nd Place – Samantha Krause-Mahan of Peyton
  • 3rd Place – Nanen Aguilar of Burlington
  • 4th Place – Kierstin Myers of Montrose

1st Place Match

  • Alina Antillon (Mullen) 20-1, Fr. over Samantha Krause-Mahan (Peyton) 14-2, So. (Dec 7-2)

3rd Place Match

  • Nanen Aguilar (Burlington) 7-1, Jr. over Kierstin Myers (Montrose) 5-3, Fr. (TF-1.5 4:59 (16-0))

147

  • 1st Place – Isabel Garcia of Chatfield
  • 2nd Place – Sheccid Aguiree of Skyview
  • 3rd Place – Audri Sandoval of Mountain Vista
  • 4th Place – Kira Gilliland of Arapahoe

1st Place Match

  • Isabel Garcia (Chatfield) 32-3, So. over Sheccid Aguiree (Skyview) 13-9, Fr. (Fall 3:51)

3rd Place Match

  • Audri Sandoval (Mountain Vista) 17-6, So. over Kira Gilliland (Arapahoe) 13-9, Sr. (Dec 2-0)

161

  • 1st Place – Bella Mitchell of Vista Ridge
  • 2nd Place – Avery Harter of Thunderridge
  • 3rd Place – Jaidyn Mueller of Chatfield
  • 4th Place – Kim Carlin of Loveland

1st Place Match

  • Bella Mitchell (Vista Ridge) 23-2, Jr. over Avery Harter (Thunderridge) 23-6, So. (Fall 1:54)

3rd Place Match

  • Jaidyn Mueller (Chatfield) 14-1, Jr. over Kim Carlin (Loveland) 12-7, Fr. (Fall 2:44)

185

  • 1st Place – Sarah Sams of Douglas County
  • 2nd Place – Muniratu Tanko of Denver South
  • 3rd Place – Jaelynn Plummer of Arapahoe
  • 4th Place – Norma Alejandro of Olathe

1st Place Match

  • Sarah Sams (Douglas County) 27-1, Jr. over Muniratu Tanko (Denver South) 20-5, Sr. (Fall 3:22)

3rd Place Match

  • Jaelynn Plummer (Arapahoe) 13-8, Sr. over Norma Alejandro (Olathe) 8-4, Jr. (Fall 4:22)

215

  • 1st Place – Dasialyn Barron of Fort Lupton

Team Scores
1 Chatfield 54.5
2 Loveland 47.0
3 Mountain Vista 33.0
4 Skyview 32.0
5 Arapahoe 31.0
6 Douglas County 27.0
7 Doherty 25.0
8 Delta 24.0
9 Vista Ridge 22.0
10 Las Animas 21.0
11 Mullen 20.0
11 Prairie View 20.0
13 Peyton 18.0
13 Thunderridge 18.0
15 Denver South 16.0
15 Fort Lupton 16.0
15 Lewis – Palmer 16.0
15 Ponderosa 16.0
15 Pueblo Central 16.0
20 Burlington 15.5
21 Chaparral 14.0
21 Denver North 14.0
23 Montrose 11.0
24 Holyoke 9.0
24 Northridge 9.0
24 Olathe 9.0
27 Mead 8.0
28 Eaglecrest 7.0
29 Thomas Jefferson 6.0
30 Fruita Monument 4.0
30 Mountain Range 4.0
30 Sierra Grande/Centennial 4.0
33 Air Academy 3.0
33 Calhan 3.0
33 Grand Valley 3.0
33 John F Kennedy 3.0
33 Overland 3.0
33 Vista Peak 3.0
39 Heritage 2.0
39 Poudre 2.0
41 Yuma 1.0
Nick Jurney
About Nick Jurney 100 Articles
Nick Jurney is a former wrestler and previously worked as a sports writer at the Pueblo Chieftain. He now works in marketing for Colorado State University in Fort Collins and helps run the Colorado Wrestling Network. You can follow him on Twitter @NVJurney.