Girls wrestling finishes season at state tournament

The West High girls wrestling team competed in the fourth ever Iowa girls high school state tournament at the Xtream Arena in Coralville on Jan. 21 and 22.


Owen Aanestad

Lexi Nash ’23 hand fights with Osage’s Leah Grimm ’22 in the consolation bracket at the Xtream Arena in Coralville during the 2022 girls state wrestling tournament on Jan. 22.

Owen Aanestad, Online Editor-In-Chief

After four state tournaments, over 40 champions and a handful of t-shirts, Iowa High School Girls Athletics Union will sanction girls wrestling next season. But before handing over the reins to the IGHSAU the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association alongside the Iowa City Area Sports Commission hosted the fourth ever girls wrestling state tournament at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Jan. 21 and 22.

The West High girls wrestling team of Jannell Avila ’23, Emma Barker ’22, Lexi Nash ’23, Marissa Goodale ’22, Ava Davis ’22, Helen Orszula ’24, Harper Chase ’25 and Eavenly Neilsen ’25 made the trip across town as early at 6:30 AM to weigh in and compete in their season finale on Jan. 21.

Goodale, after falling in her first match at 100 pounds, pinned Gilbert’s Jaedyn Henry ’22 in a minute to advance to the second round of the consolation bracket. The senior finished her high school career in her next match after losing by fall.

Barker after receiving a first-round bye made things quick in her first match of the tournament after she pinned Ames’ Abby Johnson ’23 in just 26 seconds. After advancing to the quarterfinals by fall once again Barker dropped her first match of the tournament to Dubuque Wahlert’s Alana Duggan ’22 and moved into the consolation bracket. Barker finished 8th overall at 145 pounds after wrestling her way through the consolation bracket.

Nash won back-to-back matches by fall to kick off her state tournament at 170 pounds and was just one win away from advancing to the quarterfinals before she fell to Southeast Polk’sBella Porcelli ’24. Nash pinned both Mid Prairie’s Ali Bolanos ’22 and South Winneshiek’s Isabelle Kipp ’23 but ended her season in the consolation bracket.

In search of her second career state title, Jannell Avila ’23 pinned all four of her first opponents and found herself back in the state semifinals on day two of the state tournament. Avila lost by fall in the third period to Ridge View’s Isabella Deeds ’22 but fought her way back into the third-place match where she pinned Vinton-Shellsburg’s Bailey Weeks ’22 to take home a bronze medal.