ARCADIA, IN. – LaVille sophomore Brianna Sauer made history on January 20.
The Indiana High School Girls Wrestling Finals were hosted by the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Association at Hamilton Heights last Friday. Sauer was the first female wrestler from LaVille to compete in a state championship wrestling event.
Sauer finished second in her weight class and comes back with a lot of memories.
“It still doesn’t feel real,” said Sauer. “It was great and a feeling I never had before. I can’t believe that I was able to make it this far.”
Sauer advanced after winning two regional round matches on Friday Jan. 6 at Rochester High School. Then, after an ice storm in southern Indiana on Friday Jan. 13 postponed the finals, the event was moved to last Friday.
Sauer came in knowing that the state finals were going to be different, but spent the week preparing for the challenge.
“It was really intense,” recalled Sauer of the practice preparation early last week. “I had to focus a lot more. I needed to make sure I had all the things I wanted to run and be able to run them well.”
Sauer made sure that she used her practice time wisely.
“I usually get cardio while on the mat.” noted Sauer. “It was mostly mat time. The coaches wanted to make sure that I was prepared and ready to wrestle on Friday.”
Anthony Hatter and Simeon Norton helped with the preparation for the girls state wrestling finals, according to Sauer.
Sauer received a first-round bye last Friday and was able to watch her opponent – Jasmine Hale of Pike High School.
“She was a little stronger than me and I realized that,” recalled Sauer of her first match. “I was able to utilize my quickness. I was able to execute an ankle-pick and then cross-face bundle.”
Sauer was able to pin Hale at the 0:59-second mark of the first period.
And, though it was a bit of a wait, Sauer headed to the championship match with confidence in what he had been taught by her coaches.
In the state championship match, Sauer wrestled Jazmyn Noaks from Richmond High School.
“She came off strong and she was waiting on me to make my move,” said Sauer. “She waited for me to make my move and when I did, she found her opportunity and was able to get me down.”
Sauer is ready to return again next year.
“I look forward to another shot next year,” said Sauer. “I would like to thank (assistant coach) Ronnie McColloughfor always being there and teaching me the moves.
“Thanks to coach Bottorff for everything he does for us, and thanks to my parents for always believing in me and pushing me.”
Sauer’s parents were on a cruise and told her they could not get a plane back in time Friday. However, they made special arrangements to surprise her and found that plane back home. “I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see my dad,” explained Sauer.
Sauer summed up her state finals experience by commenting, “It was nothing like I expected. It was a great feeling to know what I can do.”