Three of the five Douglas High wrestlers that entered the first girls regional tournament in Nevada are headed to the state tournament in less than two weeks.
Two of those taking the final step of the winter season are freshmen.
Ella Kavanagh took second place at 100 pounds for the Tigers while Jasmine Tamondong was third at 107 pounds.
Sophomore Bliss Moody continued her solid season with a second place at 120 pounds, punching her ticket to the state tournament in Winnemucca on Feb. 10-11.
Frosh figuring it out
Kavanagh and Tamondong have quickly adjusted to the varsity wrestling circuit after competing in middle school.
Kavanagh won her first two matches via pin in 3:12 and 1:01, setting up her third meeting with Fernley’s Sophie Workman this season.
Workman pinned Kavanagh in the first round in both of their previous meetings, but the Tiger freshman nearly got the better of Workman on Saturday.
Trailing 13-0, Kavanagh was able to slip out and found herself with a two-point reversal that almost instantaneously resulted in near fall points.
Kavanagh climbed her way back to 13-5, nearly pinning Workman, before the wrestler from Fernley was able to find her own pin in 5:46.
“I just wanted to wrestle as best as I could,” said Kavanagh. “Most tournaments I’m giving up 10 pounds in the boys bracket.”
Kavanagh, who first started wrestling in third grade, added that she feels that her improvements on the mat have come fairly naturally this winter.
“Her growth has been exponential this year,” said Douglas coach Jake Fair. “The beginning of the season that was a quick in and out match against Workman. She went the distance tonight. Ella had her on her back three times. It’s been amazing, her transition.”
For Tamondong, overcoming a loss by fall in the second round was tested in her opening consolation match.
Reed’s Alexandria Cherry was able to hang with Tamondong, but the Tiger freshman posted a 9-7 decision to advance to the third place match.
From there, Tamondong closed her regional tournament with a win by pin over Elko’s Natalia Hernandez.
Tamondong began wrestling in sixth grade and felt like her transition to the varsity level has been a rush.
“It’s awesome to place, especially as a freshman. It’s really exciting,” said Tamondong.
Her success this season has come from her takedowns and her coach had high praise for her single leg approach.
“She has one of the smoothest high singles. It is a smooth shot. It is very pretty to watch,” said Fair.
(Douglas' Jasmine Tamondong poses with her third place medal at McQueen High School Saturday after qualifying for the Nevada girls state wrestling tournament. / Carter Eckl)
Moody takes second
Moody was right back on the podium in another tournament this year, taking second at the regional tournament with her only loss coming in the finals.
The sophomore needed 3:32 to pin her first-round opponent and extra time to pick up a sudden victory, 9-7, in the semifinals.
In the 120-pound regional final, Moody fell by pin in 1:46 to McQueen’s Katie Ward, who is nationally ranked.
Much like her performance at the Reno Tournament of Champions, Moody’s ability to stack consistent results have bolstered her confidence this season.
“I definitely wanted to place and I worked really hard to get here,” said Moody. “I didn’t think I would take second place at all so I’m pretty happy with that.”
Moody did not wrestle as a freshman due to injury.
Moody will be the second seed out of the North when the brackets are drawn for the state tournament.
Mica Klein and Kelsie Doney also competed for Douglas at regionals.
Klein went 0-2 at 152 pounds while Doney was 2-2 at the same weight.
The state tournament is in less than two weeks in Winnemucca.
“It’s the first girls state, so I’m freaking excited about that,” Kavanagh said.
(Douglas High sophomore Bliss Moody poses for a photo with her second place medal after qualifying for state at the Nevada High School Girls Regional Wrestling tournament Saturday at McQueen. / Carter Eckl)