KISSIMMEE - Clay High junior wrestler Madyson Blackburn kept her unbeaten season in tact with a championship pin at the Greyhound Open on January 23 at Osceola High School. Girls high school …
KISSIMMEE - Clay High junior wrestler Madyson Blackburn kept her unbeaten season in tact with a championship pin at the Greyhound Open on January 23 at Osceola High School. Girls high school wrestling becomes a state sanctioned championship event in the 2021-2022 season.
Blackburn, 10-0 at 128 and third at 128 at last year’s Florida Girls State championships, beat Paris Martinez of Osceola High after three prior pins got her to the final.
“I think those numbers are correct, but I don’t keep track of that,” said Blackburn, third last year at 128 at the state championships. “I try to stay in the moment. There is one wrestler I am chasing; the number one ranked girl at 128, Carolyna Bellon of Mater Lakes.”
On December 29, Blackburn, ranked number one at 134 by the Orlando Sentinel, was 131 champion at the Southern Belle Invitational in Kissimmee’s Silver Spurs Arena.
“I train with the boys here; Luke Boree is the primary guy,” said Blackburn. “I like sweep moves and the half nelsons. I got a little more speed and strength from running cross country also.”
At Clay High, Blackburn’s prowess as a Blue Devil wrestler has given her her own persona.
“No one really talks to me in the hallways, but I don’t know if it’s because of wrestling,” said Blackburn. “Luke and Cale Hoskinson are good training partners and they keep me focussed. They just tell me to be aggressive or to not lose; be a bad dude on the mat.”
For Clay coach Jim Reape, the development of the girls team has been a matter of time on the mat.
“They are all raising their games and they work out a bunch with us,” said Reape. “At this point in the season (states in a week), they are joining us and taking on the boys.”
At Orange Park High, returning state medalist Andrea Smith is also ranked number; at 197 pounds. Also ranked for the Lady Raiders are Aubreanna Apple, seventh in 134; Jasmine Hecht, sixth at 154 and Tayana Labday at 222.
Middleburg had Gracy Bradshawn compete at 99 with an opening round pin before losing by pin to South Dade’s Natlaie Duran.
Oakleaf High’s Jazzmine Moore placed third with a pin over Dr. Phillips’ Francheska Robles at 184.