This week's crime report for Clay County Florida, provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High sophomore wrestler Cheyenne Cruce continued her unbeaten trek to avenge her fourth place finish last year at the FHSAA state championships with a decisive pin in her …
MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High sophomore wrestler Cheyenne Cruce continued her unbeaten trek to avenge her fourth place finish last year at the FHSAA state championships with a decisive pin in her final at the Region 1-1A championship held Saturday at Matanzas High School. Middleburg stormed to a second place team finish after a 13th in 2022 in the region.
“I just keep my work ethic high and go with my strengths,” said Cruce, now 35-0. “Today was a little weird and very nerve-wracking.”
Cruce, despite her hesitations, won with a 29 second fall to her former friend and junior high teammate Lillian Heflin from Ridgeview High. “Lillian and I were teammates at Wilkinson Junior High until she got hurt.”
Clay High senior Aubrianna Apple, 27-2, also continued her journey to an avenging state title run (eighth last year at 125), by pinning three chasers to her 135 region title. Apple, ranked No. 2 in 135, is on a collision course to face off again with top ranked and defending 135 state champion Gabriella Perez of Fort Pierce Central, who owns both Apple’s losses (in Osceola Christmas Knockout final and in Freedom High IBT).
For the Lady Broncos, who swayed from a third place team finish prior to the championship rounds to leaders Matanzas and Gulf Breeze, regained some team points behind Cruce, 100 runnerup Grace Bradshaw, third placer Skyla Fisher at 105, third placer Memphis Moses at 110 as the Broncos stormed the field in the first rounds of the championship segment. Heidi Castleberry missed by one match; fifth at 135, but added key points.
Matanzas prevailed again as region champion with an impressive 201 points with Middleburg at 100.5 and Ponte Vedra, state runnerup last year, third at 96. Oakleaf finished 10th with Adrianna Barrientos at 105 winning her title and 170 Jayla Harrison getting a second. Oakleaf was missing 120 top seed Kailani Barrientos who did not make her weight.
Heflin, a sophomore just like Cruce, had a promising start as Cruce’s teammate at Wilkinson and even admitted that she trained somewhat with Austin “Cowboy” Cruce, Cheyenne’s linebacker brother at Middleburg.
“I wasn’t quite as strong and ready to wrestle with Cowboy back then, but Lillian was,” said Cruce. “Her return to the mat is a great sign of her own work ethic and perserverance to come back to the sport. I was kind of worried about that.”
Despite the quick pin, Cruce noted that Heflin could be in the mix at next week’s state meet.
“She is quickly regaining her full strength, she had good technique and she has good coaches (including Marcus Reid, state placer for Ridgeview a few years ago),” said Cruce. “She could be a big surprise.”
Heflin advanced with a late pin over Hagerty’s Jenna Childers, who pinned twice to her semifinal with Heflin, and a quarterfinal third period pin over Lake Brantley’s Gabriella Nieves.
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