A dedicated band of female wrestlers from across the Plateau are making themselves known throughout the state. What’s more, a couple have grappled their way into national contention.
Seven representatives from local high schools have landed in the state’s Top 10, according to the most recent rankings by Washington Wrestling Report. In addition to personal success, the Jan. 8 team rankings show White River in the No. 5 spot, Enumclaw sitting sixth and Sumner tied for 17th. Bonney Lake has also been a Top 20 squad, but slipped from the latest rankings.
In the girls game, all schools are combined; there are no classifications determined by school size, as is the case in other sports.
White River has three girls in the state rankings, coming off a 2017 campaign in which the Rivergirls placed seventh at state. Heading the list is Payton Stroud, a junior who is ranked No. 1 at 120 pounds. Freshman Claire DiCugno is ranked fourth at 125 and senior Tatiana Molinero is fifth at 155.
Molinero is a two-time veteran of the state meet and Stroud also made the state trip last year, taking seventh-place honors.
At Enumclaw, sophomore Kenzie Cormier is the top-ranked wrestler in the state at 110 pounds. She is joined in the standings by teammates Alexandra Puzon, a senior who is ranked second at 105 pounds, and sophomore Natasha Puzon, eighth at 120.
Last year, Cormier grabbed a regional championship before heading to the state meet. Once there, she battled to the finals, taking a silver medal back to EHS. Alexandra Puzon was seventh at state last year and Natasha Puzon qualified for state last year as a freshman.
At Sumner High, senior Nikole Clark is ranked No. 1 in the state at 145 pounds.
Stroud and Cormier have seen their reputations grow from their home state to national lists.
The girls national rankings were released Jan. 12 and show Stroud fourth in the 122-pound class and Cormier ninth at 100 pounds.
WHITE RIVER SHINES AT OTHELLO
The White River High girls traveled east of the Cascades for Saturday’s Othello Ladies Husky Invitational, where they took fourth-place team honors.
Individually, Stroud was the tourney champion at 120 pounds and Molinero took the title at 145. Teammates Rachel Poussier took third place at 125, DiCugno was fifth at 130 and Tailyn Nelson placed sixth at 235.