BLOOMFIELD, NJ – History was made over the holiday break as Bloomfield High School hosted the inaugural Girls Wrestling Holiday Tournament. The all-female event, which featured two wrestlers from West Orange, was the first of its kind in New Jersey.
In a ground-breaking decision for scholastic wrestling, the NJSIAA approved girls wrestling as a varsity sport for the 2018-19 season. New Jersey is one of a dozen states in the nation and the only state in the northeast to offer grappling for girls.
More than 70 girls from 30 different high school across the state, including one female from New York, hit the mat and competed in the full-day event.
West Orange had two girls entered in the tournament, including Sandra Guerrero, who defeated Elin Santos of Bergenfield in the 225-pound class, and Daniela Tacuri Andrade, who fell to Isabel Saire of Rahway in the 118-pound class. (Full results from the tournament can be seen below.)
Participating schools included Belleville, Bergenfield, Bloomfield, Boonton, Burlington City, DePaul, Elmwood Park, Hackettstown, Lakeland, Lodi, Montclair, Morris Knolls, Newton, North Bergen, Parsippany, Phillipsburg, Rahway, Saddle Brook, Secaucus, South Brunswick, Teaneck, Union City, Vernon, Warwick, West Orange, Woodbridge and Wood-Ridge.
“We are firm believers in trying to give girls as many opportunities as we can, and if this helps expedite the process then we’re glad to be a part of it,” said Bloomfield Athletic Director Steve Jenkins. “This is the first floor, per say, but we’re hoping it grows over the course of time.”
The tournament was held in the George Cella Gym at Bloomfield High School and included wrestle-backs to fifth place and ultimate champions decided in each weight class.
“Bloomfield has a rich history in the sport of wrestling,” said Bloomfield wrestling head oach Ryan Smircich. “Organizing a tournament of this size and importance is made so much easier by the support of Bloomfield’s School Administration and hard work of our Bengal Wrestling Booster Club...We are proud to provide this opportunity for girls wrestling."
Championship Match Results:
Sydney Petzinger of Parsippany defeated Alisa Safforld of Belleville by decision.
118 lbs: Isabel Saire of Rahway defeated Daniela Tacuri Andrade of West Orange by pin.
127 lbs: Haley Perez of DePaul defeated Abigail Wittig of Newton by pin.
136 lbs: Hailey Budney of Parsippany defeated Natalie Vega of Elmwood Park by pin.
161 lbs: Jewel Gonzalez of Phillipsburg defeated Amanda Pace of North Bergen by pin.
185 lbs: Erin Emery of Teaneck defeated Jeymarie Reyes of Belleville by pin.
225 lbs: Sandra Guerrero of West Orange defeated Elin Santos of Bergenfield by pin.