Eighth-grader Sara Pauls wins 107-pound weight class in inaugural NYSPHSAA Girls Wrestling Invitational

sara pauls

Eighth-grader Sara Pauls won the 107-pound weight class in the first ever NYSPHSAA Girls Wrestling Invitational, held Jan. 27 at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.

“This is an absolutely amazing accomplishment,” said Varsity Wrestling Coach Kevin Gallagher.  “Sara worked hard and competed fiercely against some tough competition.  She was confident, resilient and had the mental and physical fortitude to win her class. We’re so proud of her.”

Freshmen Jaida Macaluso, 126-weight class, and Kiera Filip, 114-pound weight class, each placed fourth in their respective weight classes.

Sophomore Patricia Deslandes, 235-pound weight class, won her first bout of the tournament and battled tough completion throughout the tourney. She was eliminated in the wrestlebacks.

four wrestlers

“Jaida, Kiera and Patricia also battled against tough competitors, and we know they put everything they had on the mat,” added Coach Gallagher.  “We are so proud these four amazing wrestlers represented Minisink Valley with such talent and skill in this first all-girls invitational. Wrestling has come a long way, and we’re thrilled to have our school represented in this inaugural event.”

This was the first girls’ tournament that the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has sponsored, with over 200 girls participating.

This school year, girls’ wrestling has been sanctioned by the NYSPHSAA as an “emerging sport” for the state, although Minisink Valley’s varsity wrestling team is a mixed team. “Emerging sport” status means a sports committee can be established and an event may be developed.

The tournament featured a 16-person bracket and ran on eight mats. Tomorrow, Jan. 28, is the 2023 NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships at the same venue.