HARRISON — The Washington Lady Lions have begun preparation for the 2023 OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament.
Leah Marine, Lyndyn Gibbs, and Brooklyn Wade all punched their ticket to the State tournament by placing in the top four at the Regional tournament at Harrison High School on Sunday, March 5.
“We want to keep the practice schedule the same,” said head coach Wes Gibbs. “We’ll go light on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday will be our make weight practice. We always do that the day before any competition. Today (Monday) was lighter. We did an hour practice since they’re a little banged up, but it’s a long season. We’ve got some visitors from other schools coming in to help us get through the through the short period.”
Leah Marine, a freshman, placed fourth at the regional tournament to qualify for the state meet. According to Marine, this is her second year of wrestling.
“I wasn’t really expecting much of myself, if I’m being honest. Being able to qualify for state just really boosts my confidence, and it’s a great opportunity.”
Marine explained how she got into wrestling.
“I went to one of my brother’s tournaments about two years ago and decided it was pretty cool. I wanted to pick it up with him.”
She finished, “I definitely want to thank all of my coaches, especially Craig (Snyder) and Wes (Gibbs). They’ve been through this whole ride with me, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Coach Gibbs spoke about Marine.
“She’s placed in every tournament this year. I think her record now is 33-11. She’s incredible. This is only her second year in competition. She started wrestling in the spring of last year, she really turned it up a notch in eighth grade and now is a freshman State qualifier. She has been wrestling and beating girls that have 10-12 years of experience.”
Lyndyn Gibbs is now a two-time State qualifier. Last year, she qualified for the OHSWCA state tournament where she finished in third place. She spoke about her thoughts ahead of this weekend.
“I’m actually really excited because we get to wrestle at the Schott. It’s like the first time that it’s sanctioned. It’s a big thing for me because I’ve been fighting for this for a little while.”
She finished, “I want to thank my brother, my sister, my dad, and my mom. They’re my biggest supporters, and my brother actually comes into practice every day and works with me.”
Coach Gibbs shared some comments about Lyndyn.
“She qualified last year for the State tournament, so she’s now a two-time qualifier. She fell a little short in the District championship. She is 39-3 on the season and has a ton of pins. She’s over 80 wins for her career, so next year she should get to 100. This is a lifestyle for her now, she’s the leader and she knows that. She knows her job is to try and make everybody else around her better. It’s awesome to have her in the room.”
Brooklyn Wade will be competing at the State tournament this weekend after finishing in third place at the regional tournament. She spoke about her season and what lies ahead.
“I’m just excited about the work I put in. I had my ups and downs through the season, but I pushed myself during the Regional tournament. I was in the semifinals and lost to Jessica Edwards. I had to bounce back and ended up beating a girl from West Union that was ranked eighth in the state. I was excited, and I’m just hoping I go in this weekend and dominate and place on the podium.”
She finished, “I want to thank my teammates for pushing me to the limit, and I want to thank my coaches for coaching me and dealing with me throughout the season. I also want to thank my parents for supporting me and being there for me throughout the season.”
Coach Gibbs talked about Brooklyn and the season she has had.
“Brooklyn has had a rocky year; she’s been dealing with injuries the last couple of weeks. She’s knocked off the number four girl in the state and the number seven girl in the state, all while being 30 pounds lighter than everybody that she’s wrestling. She’s a force to be reckoned with. She wrestles the number three girl in the state in her first match this weekend. That’ll be a tough match, but I really don’t think there’s a girl on this stage that she can’t beat.”
The first session of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 10.