ARCADIA — North Montgomery juniors and twin sisters Cailin and Catie Campbell were all smiles after the final round of the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals at Hamilton Heights High School on Friday night.
Each won their second high school state title, but for the first time the duo stood together at the top of the podium as champions in the same year.
“Finally,” Cailin said. “We’ve been trying at this for three years now and finally got it.”
And they did it in dominant fashion.
Each ranked No. 1 in their respective classes, Cailin and Catie combined for five pins in six matches to win the 120 and 126 pound classes respectively.
At 120, Cailin defeated Delta’s Anna Krejsa 8-7 in the championship match after falling behind 2-0 to start the match.
“I knew I had to do something,” she said. “I was tired, but I just had to push through the tiredness and exhaustion because I knew winning was really important to me.”
Krejsa scored a quick takedown in the opening period, but Campbell responded with an escape and takedown to go up 3-2 after a period. She then took control of the match with an escape and takedown in the second period. Campbell pinned Frontier’s Alexa Reagan in the opening round, and Frankfort’s Emma Pillion in the semifinals.
The title is the second in row for Cailin, after finishing as the runner-up at 120 as a freshman in 2019.
“It’s pretty awesome,” she said. “I definitely knew what I needed to improve on from last year and I just worked at it all year so I could do it again this year.”
For Catie it was all about redemption. After winning at 126 as a freshman, she was second at 132 last season.
“It feels really good,” she said. “I’m glad I got to work on a lot of stuff, and I’m really happy how this year turned out and how much better I got.”
Her determination paid off. She pinned Maconaquah’s Crystal Bunch, Jay County’s Lita Chowning, and Penn’s Heidi Selis en route to the state title. The win not only redeemed last year’s loss, but completed a season long comeback from a back injury she suffered just before the season started.
“I think that was huge for her because she’s been battling an injury this season, and she’s really fought through that throughout the season and especially after last season I think she was determined to get back to the top of the podium,” North Montgomery wrestling coach Bryce McCoy said.
At comparable weights, Cailin and Catie have pushed each other in the practice room throughout their entire careers, and Friday night proved the payoff to be monumental.
“I think practice is really important, especially perfect practice,” Catie said. “Because again perfect practice makes perfect and if you really push yourself, you’ll start to see those results in a match.”
“Me and Catie really go at it in practice and even though we get mad at each other sometimes or get in fights,” Cailin added. “It still makes us better and in the long run it really helps us out.”
The pair of titles gave the Chargers 50 team points, good enough for third-place overall behind champion Lebanon (79) and second-place Penn (71.5). A performance that keeps the long tradition of North Montgomery wrestling success alive.
“Now that they’re juniors I think the kids look at them and say ‘that’s what hard work gets you,’ offseason work and I think they’re a great example for our younger guys to put in that work and effort to get better in offseason,” McCoy said. “I’m glad they were both finally able to win it this year. And it shows everybody that they’re dominant and have a long future in wrestling.”