Buckley’s very own Shelby Moore has been ranked the greatest female high school wrestler in the United States.
That distinction came last week courtesy of USA Today, which annually presents its High School Sports Awards.
The nationwide newspaper claims to operate the nation’s largest recognition program for prep athletes. This year, more than 800 high schoolers were initially honored, with the eventual winners in 29 individual sports announced July 31.
Moore’s name was called as the top selection in the “Girls Wrestler of the Year” category. Here’s what USA Today had to say about the 17-year-old Buckley girl.
“It’s one thing to go undefeated on the wrestling mat — it’s another to pin each and every opponent you face. Moore accomplished that incredible feat during an undefeated season that ended with a state championship at 130 pounds. It was an awesome year overall for the White River High star, who also racked up five national championships in a four-month span. Viewed as the best girls’ wrestler in the country regardless of weight class, Moore’s next goal is to start competing for world championships.”
In all, USA Today considered 24 nominees for the “Girls Wrestler of the Year” honor. In addition to Moore, finalists were Audrey Jimenez of Arizona and Haley Ward from Missouri.
Moore admits to being a bit surprised with the USA Today honor, largely because “I didn’t know much about it.” When the awards program was brought to her attention, she submitted the required information then sat back and waited for the satisfying result.
The awards program, hosted by NFL legends Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis, can be viewed at: sportsawards.usatoday.com. The program runs one hour and 21 minutes; Moore’s time in the spotlight begins at 20:15.
Moore’s accomplishments have grown in scope and prestige, eventually landing her on the international scene. The last week of August saw her competing in Rome, Italy, representing the United States in the U17 World Championships. During the week leading up to the Rome trip, she was at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Moore had earned a spot in the World Championships by taking the 126-pound title during early-May competition in Fort Worth, Texas.
Moore returned from Italy July 30. “It was great,” she said of her experience in Rome, referring both to her time on the wrestling mat and the time she had to explore a bit of Rome.
The World Championships certainly live up to their name, attracting competitors from all over the globe.
Moore opened the tournament with victories over Michalina Jolanta of Poland and Alina Filipovych of Ukraine. She then lost in the quarterfinals to Japan’s Sowaka Uchida, who went on to capture the U17 championship. Moore stayed alive with a victory over Annalina Kendra of Switzerland and, finally, in a battle for the bronze medal, fell to Ulmeken Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan.
After taking a rare (and brief) break, Moore will return to her training regimen. As far as actual competition goes, there’s nothing on the schedule for the rest of the summer.
That could change, however, when FloWrestling announces its choices for the annual two-athlete “Who’s Number One” tournament that determines its top-ranked wrestler in each weight class.
The mini-tourney will be staged Sept. 9 at the historic Cliff Keen Arena on the campus of the University of Michigan. Moore anticipates learning her fate (one of the competitors has already been determined) within a couple of weeks.
Moore was invited to the prestigious tournament a year ago, where she dropped a tough 11-10 decision to California’s Katie Gomez.