Jack Britt’s Madajah Trapier and Pine Forest’s Anamaria Bailey were part of North Carolina high school athletic history recently.
Trapier and Bailey were among a handful of female wrestlers from Cumberland County to take part in the first official statewide invitational tournament for female wrestlers.
They were the only two from Cumberland County to stand atop the awards platform at the end of the competition; Trapier won the 152 pound championship while Bailey placed second in the combined 160-170 pound category.
Trapier got her start in wrestling in middle school at Anne Chesnutt but didn’t return to competition until this year when she tried out for the team at Jack Britt.
“My dad wrestled in high school but never got the chance to go to state,’’ Trapier said. “I wanted to wrestle and continue his legacy.’’
In North Carolina, there’s been no separate division for girls to wrestle head-to-head, so they have to compete with boys in their own weight class.
“I like the fact that girls are underestimated,’’ Trapier said. “I can show that technique beats strength any day and girls can do just as good as guys.’’
At the state tournament, there were only three girls in Trapier’s weight class, two from Hoke County and one from Overhills. Instead of being paired up in brackets, the four girls wrestled in a round robin format.
Trapier beat Hoke’s Melanie Jones and Madeline Ramallah and Jasmine Davis of Overhills, winning all three matches by fall to take the championship.
“I got a chance to watch their moves,’’ she said of her three opponents. “I saw what technique they were using, and I was able to depict what I could use when it was my turn to go against them.”
Trapier said it took a few days for her to realize she had won a state championship — the first one for high school girls in North Carolina history.
“I was really happy and proud of myself,’’ she said. “I’m hoping I (can) go to nationals in Texas and get the opportunity to wrestle in college.’’
Bailey, a junior at Pine Forest, is no stranger to rugged sports, having played rugby before an injury forced her to stop. Her brother and his friends talked her into giving wrestling a try. She’s in her third year wrestling with the team at Pine Forest.
“It was definitely a challenge, but I think it made me better,’’ she said. “When I started wrestling, it helped me challenge myself not only physically but mentally.
“Without wrestling, I wouldn’t have the right discipline to put me on the path to greater things.’’
After a first-round bye, she won by fall over Ashley Boggess of Pisgah. But she lost by fall to LaSean Boyd of Overhills in the championship match.
Despite the setback, Bailey is already looking ahead to her senior year at Pine Forest.
“Everybody wants a better record and to be able to win more,” Bailey said. “That’s what my thing is ‑ let them know I was a better wrestler than last year.’’
In addition to Trapier and Bailey, the following Cumberland County female wrestlers took part in the recent state tournament but did not finish in the top four in their weight class: Tina Silva, South View, 113; Emmaline Morgan, Terry Sanford, 113; Andrea Moore, Jack Britt, 120.
Photo: Madajah Trapier