Chantelle Bailey made history Saturday night when she became the first Enumclaw High Lady Hornet to win a state wrestling title.
When the junior pinned 2007 state place winner Betty Granados of Fife in the closing seconds of the 171-pound final, she was also making a statement.
“It’s undescribable to win it,” she said. “Hopefuly, it will motivate other girls to come out. I’d like to be a good role model to motivate more girls to get into the sport.”
This was Bailey’s first year with the Hornets’ two-year girls’ wrestling program. She enjoyed participating in other sports, but hip and knee problems kept her out of many programs.
When she entered the state tournament Friday with three of her Hornet teammates, she was hoping for a medal, meaning eighth place or higher. Topping Granados in the finals was a dream come true.
Granados was one of two girls Bailey had lost to during the regular season.
“She’s been the thorn in her side all year,” coach Jerry Scheidt said. “She’s pretty excited.”
With a series of takedowns, reversals and a three-point near fall, Bailey built a 13-5 third-period lead over Granados, a senior with an 18-9 season record, before the pin at the 5-minute, 25-second mark.
The fall completed a spectacular season for Bailey. It was her 17th pin, all her victories were by fall. She tallied just six losses. Three of those 17 pins came on her way to the crown starting with Blair Brown of Elma, 17 seconds, Araceli Cuevas of Warden, 2:37, and Jessica Christensen of Rogers of Puyallup, 5:47.
“There was a 50-50 chance,” Bailey said of facing Granados for the title. “We’re both good wrestlers. She’s powerful. I figured I would have to wrestle smart.”
The Hornets – which also brought Rose Johnson, Breanna Flaquinti and Jennifer Paterson – finished fifth as a team. Bailey’s pin in the finals pushed the Hornets past Fife. Sedro Woolley won the girls’ tournament followed by Kelso, Rogers and Burlington-Edison.
“Our girls wrestled great,” Scheidt said. “Everyone won a match. They all wrestled great.
“Today (Saturday) I told the girls leave it on the mat don’t have any regrets.”
Paterson and Johnson earned seventh-place finishes. Paterson pinned Katie Weide of Mount Baker in 1:43 for her medal and Johnson took Chelsea Macri of Fife to the mat in 2:52 for her hardware.
Bailey and Paterson were also named to the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association academic all-state wrestling team with 3.0 grade-point averages.