The Yelm High School girls wrestling team were crowned district champions at the postseason district tournament, which was held on Saturday, Feb. 4.
In the process of the team taking first, sisters Maddy and Cammy Erickson each placed first in their respective weight classes and a plethora of Tornados qualified for regionals.
During the 3A and 4A girls wrestling district tournament, Amailee Niz placed second in her respective weight class, followed by Madelyn Lawson, who placed third in her weight class.
Yelm’s Michaela Marsh, Gabrielle Huish, Samantha Blank and Alayna Preston placed fourth in their respective weight classes, while three Tornados — Destiny Saldana, Karoline Eggemann and Kaitlyn Dover — placed fifth. Emma Burton Crow and Emma Robison placed sixth and seventh to qualify.
All of the Tornados that placed in the district tournament qualified for the regional tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Kelso.
“We’ve had an interesting season this year because of some unfortunate injuries. As we approached districts, we just focused on keeping our girls healthy,” Coach Amy Earley said. “As the postseason has approached, these girls have worked on having a positive attitude and controlling what they can control.”
Earley said leading up to regionals, the team will spend a lot of time studying the tournament’s brackets and reviewing film from earlier in the season.
“The girls have a lot of footage of their competition and I expect our girls to do their homework and learn their opponents tendencies,” the coach said. “But at the same time, they need to continue to have a positive mindset as competition gets tougher.”
Earley said the team will send 13 girls to the regional tournament, out of the 15 she sent to districts. She credits this to the team’s cohesiveness.
“We started out with a big team of 35 girls and now we’re down to the 13 that made it through,” Earley said. “They have a lot of fun together and they like being with each other. They’re a very supportive team and that’s cool. We don’t always have that and I really like it when the girls do have that camaraderie.”
The 3A/4A regional tournament will be the Tornados final stop before the 2023 Mat Classic, the annual state wrestling championship tournament which is hosted at the Tacoma Dome.