For a second straight year, a North Montgomery wrestler was crowned as a state champion at the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state finals last Friday at Kokomo High School.
Cailin Campbell, who was the runner-up last year at 120 pounds, defeated Carmel’s Haley Mattingly 9-3 in the finals to claim the state title.
“It felt great,” Campbell said of the redemption. “I was hoping to wrestle the girl I lost to last year, because I wanted to show her that I had gotten better and beat her this year, but I didn’t have to.”
Campbell had lost to Crown Point’s Alexie Westfall in double-overtime last season in the finals at 120.
The sophomore, who beat Penn’s Abbie Utz by fall in the first round and Penn’s Anjali Plant 7-4 in the semi-finals, says the annual tournament continues to grow, and the competition was better than her freshman season.
“I think the competition has gotten a lot better, and it’s gotten bigger,” she said.
Cailin’s twin sister, Catie Campbell, who was the champion at 126 last season, placed second at 132 after falling to Aulani Davis from Kokomo 3-2 in overtime in the finals.
“It really does make me want to work harder,” Catie said. “I had lost to the same girl earlier in the season and I was really trying to get a revenge match. And unfortunately it didn’t work out that way, but it definitely makes me want to work harder and get better.”
Catie defeated Penn’s Clarissa Robles by fall in the first round, and Jeffersonville’s Emelly Velasquez in the semifinals.
North Montgomery coach Bryce McCoy has seen tremendous growth in both of the Campbell sisters from their freshmen year to now.
“They are both not near as shy as last year and they open up more, and ask more questions in practice,” he said. “Both of them have had a lot of varsity experience this year — wrestling a lot of guys that are a lot of the time bigger and stronger than they are, and that’s been the main difference.”
Catie, who has been a regular in the Chargers lineup this season, says the team atmosphere hasn’t changed from last season to now, despite the low numbers and youth that fill out the lineup.
“We have a smaller team and a younger team,” she said. “But we have the same work ethic, and we are all still willing to work really hard and pick up the slack.”