COLUMBUS – Washington High School freshman Brooklyn Wade made school history on Sunday, as she became the first girl to compete in the state championship of the inaugural OHSAA Girls State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Wade had a tough task as she looked to defeat a three-time state champion in senior Alaina Jackson of Minerva.
Late in the first period, Jackson executed a successful toss and was able to secure a pin over Wade. With the loss, Wade finished her season as the state runner-up in the 235-pound girls division with a record of 19-4.
After the match, Wade was able to share her thoughts on the match.
“I knew the throw was coming. I defended the first one, but she caught me on the second one. She’s a senior, so I don’t have to worry about her next year. I plan to come back next year and win it all. I’ll get back in the wrestling room as soon as I can and start putting in the work for next year.”
Head coach Wes Gibbs spoke about Wade following the match.
“We came into that match with a game plan, and they had a game plan of their own. They switched some stuff up on us that was different from what we had seen. We didn’t anticipate the second throw, because we hadn’t seen her attempt many throws over the last couple of days. This season has been a good ride for her. She was off a little bit in the beginning and then came back and then suffered a knee injury, but she had the tournament of her life this weekend. Now we know that Brooklyn is going to have a target on her back because the outgoing senior is gone, so Brooklyn is the top dog now. We have got to work harder, improve, and look to get better.”
Washington only qualified three girls for the state tournament, but those three were able to score enough points to get into the top ten in team points, finishing tied for eighth with 42 points. Over 100 teams were represented at the tournament. Gibbs spoke about this accomplishment and the plans to build for the future.
“When Brooklyn pinned Karlie Harlow from Greeneview in the semifinals, that was huge, and it put us in a good spot in terms of points. We’re very young, every qualifier returns. This is only going to get better. Next year, we’ll have Kaylee Scott and Lauren Joseph back, who I think would have done some damage here for sure. The future looks bright. We have coaches that are willing to put the work in, we just need the girls to come out and give wrestling a chance and the dads to be willing to let their daughters wrestle.”
Finally, Gibbs shared a message for any local girls and parents who may be on the fence about trying girls wrestling.
“It’s fun. We like to have fun, and it’s a great experience. The atmosphere is great and the other girls on opposing teams are great. It’s not like any other sport. For the most part, the girls have fought for so long together that they don’t want to fight at the end. They want to shake hands, give a little hug and hang out.”