When Valarie Solorio and Henlee Haynes went to the unsanctioned women state meet at Osceloa Excessive Faculty final yr, they have been each grateful to get to compete for a state title towards different women after principally competing through the common season towards boys for Arnold.
Nonetheless, it did not really feel fairly like an actual state championship event. It was at a a lot smaller venue than the boys event at Silver Spurs Area, rivals have been introduced there by invitation quite than qualification, and it wasn’t even technically an FHSAA occasion.
Because of a vote by the FHSAA to make women wrestling an formally state-sanctioned sport final September, women like Solorio and Haynes will not should compete in a separate state event, and will they win, their names might be formally recorded as state champion wrestlers.
“Final yr it wasn’t such a giant deal,” Solorio mentioned. “However now we’re excited to get to wrestle on the Silver Spurs Area in entrance of all of our family and friends. It is identical to the best information we would ever heard. It is one thing that is so little to another person however so big for us.”
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Solorio was out of the state wrestling at one other occasion when the information broke of the FHSAA’s choice, with Haynes being the one which broke it to her.
“We have been all tremendous excited,” Haynes mentioned. “I am fairly positive I referred to as Val instantly and was like, ‘bro, did you see the information? We’re gonna sanctioned, it is gonna be so cool.'”
Each Solorio and Hayes have been battling by way of accidents ultimately yr’s unsanctioned occasion, with Solorio taking fourth at 100 kilos after an damage forfeit within the third-place match, and Haynes taking second at 184 kilos.
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Now at Mosley Excessive Faculty, Solorio, a sophomore, and Haynes, a junior, go into the primary FHSAA women wrestling event as prime seeds of their respective divisions, Solorio nonetheless at 100 kilos and Haynes now at 170.
Solorio mentioned the loss in final yr’s state occasion was a tricky tablet to swallow given her historical past in such competitions, although she is wholesome and laser-focused this yr on attending to the highest of the rostrum in Kissimmee.
“I am feeling rather a lot higher now,” she mentioned. “Final yr was very disappointing. Since I used to be 8 years outdated I by no means misplaced a state championship, final yr was my first yr dropping one. It was actually disappointing, however I hopped proper again on my horse, recovered, and labored laborious, and hopefully, I will get a distinct final result this yr.”
Haynes, who gained the primary unsanctioned women state wrestling event at Dr. Phillips in 2020, mentioned a win at this yr’s sanctioned occasion would imply just a little bit extra to her given the official standing of the event, the venue, and extra importantly, the extent of competitors.
“I believe it should really feel completely different being sanctioned and acknowledged extra,” she mentioned. “The primary one wasn’t actual, it wasn’t an official FHSAA factor. Everybody within the state competed for this and also you needed to work to get there. This one you needed to make districts and do regionals, you needed to win towards a number of the prime women in Florida and undergo prime competitors.”
Haynes and Solorio will not be alone at state, with teammate Savannah Pitts qualifying within the 145-pound division after putting third on the Area 1-1A event. There have been 5 Mosley women in whole competing at areas, with 130-pounder Allison Boyer arising only one victory wanting making it to state.
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Solorio mentioned that the success that she and Haynes have had has already helped spark additional curiosity in wrestling amongst Mosley women, with a number of members of the Dolphins’ women weightlifting staff coming into the wrestling room in latest weeks.
Seeing the elevated participation in wrestling amongst women, excessive school-aged or youthful, is one thing that Solorio mentioned could be very gratifying for her.
“It is simply unimaginable, I am so glad about it,” Solorio mentioned. “All of the youthful women that are actually simply beginning out, hopefully, we get to be an inspiration to them to be like ‘this lady is in highschool and she or he’s rather a lot older than me and she or he’s doing actually good and I need to be like her.’ I need to paved the way for little women like that.
“I’ve just a little sister who’s 5 years outdated and hopefully she’s gonna begin wrestling quickly and every time she does I would like her to see me and be like ‘that is the individual I look as much as, she did it, she’s doing nice, I need to be identical to her.’ I need to be form of a pioneer for younger women.”
Haynes mentioned watching the game develop in recognition amongst women has been particularly satisfying for her as effectively, and she or he thinks having women compete for actual FHSAA state titles will solely assist it turn into larger sooner or later.
“I believe it is gonna develop it a lot,” she mentioned. “I believe it already has simply from being sanctioned. After states are over and seeing all these women accomplish their objectives for this season and stay out their goals. I believe there might be a ton of women like, ‘hey, I can do this, too.’ Now it is not bizarre to be on a women’ wrestling staff. There’s not that stigma round it not being an actual sport since you’re a lady.”
This text initially appeared on The Information Herald: HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: Solorio, Haynes able to compete for state titles