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Sophomore competes in first all-female MPSSAA-sponsored wrestling tournament

Sophomore+Stephanie+Solloso+prepares+for+a+match+at+the+first+ever+all-female+MPSSAA-sponsored+wrestling+tournament.+Solloso+placed+second+in+her+weight+class.+Photo+courtesy+MPSSAA.
Sophomore Stephanie Solloso prepares for a match at the first ever all-female MPSSAA-sponsored wrestling tournament. Solloso placed second in her weight class. Photo courtesy MPSSAA.

Sophomore Stephanie Solloso prepares for a match at the first ever all-female MPSSAA-sponsored wrestling tournament. Solloso placed second in her weight class. Photo courtesy MPSSAA.

Sophomore Stephanie Solloso prepares for a match at the first ever all-female MPSSAA-sponsored wrestling tournament. Solloso placed second in her weight class. Photo courtesy MPSSAA.

By Matthew van Bastelaer

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Northeast High School hosted the first ever all-female MPSSAA-sponsored wrestling tournament Feb. 3. Whitman’s sole female wrestler, sophomore Stephanie Solloso, attended the meet and finished second in her weight class.

The meet wasn’t an official state championship, but it served as an opportunity to crown Maryland’s best female wrestlers since there isn’t a girls-only state championship.

Solloso knew a number of the other competitors from past tournaments, which sometimes include all-girl sections. Otherwise, female wrestlers compete against the boys like any other competitor.

“Usually when we have meets, they have an honorary system where the girls would wrestle against the girls,” Solloso said, calling it “unusual” to have a fully female event.

Solloso won her first two matches, lost her third, then won her final match. Solloso’s lone loss was to Huntington High School’s Grace Oswald, a senior with national competition experience. Solloso wrestled well and nearly beat Oswald, assistant coach Will Sharbaugh said.

“She was up against a tough opponent, though she was close to beating her,” Sharbaugh said. “There’s just a few adjustments she can make. Other than that, she wrestled well.”

MPSSAA state tournament coordinator Michael Duffy of Howard High School said that the wrestling wing of the association had considered the idea of an all-girls meet before, but they never seriously focused on the idea until the spring of 2017 due to insufficient participation.

Senior Clark Boinis, a Whitman wrestler, said the team was excited with Stephanie’s result.

“We were really proud of Stephanie. She came back with a medal, so that was really cool,” Boinis said. “We were really happy for to prove that not only can she compete with the girls, but she can also compete with any of the guys on the team.”

Boinis feels that the existence of this tournament is beneficial to the experience of all female wrestlers.

“I think having an all girls tournament is something that they should continue to do,” Boinis said. “It gives the girls more individual success, as well as also preparing them more for regular matches.”

Duffy stated that with this meet, the MPSSAA hopes to improve upon the oft-forgotten side of the sport that is women’s wrestling.

“We plan to continue this for the future and help girls’ wrestling to grow in the state of Maryland,” Duffy said.

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