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Five Berks wrestlers win titles at PIAA District 3 Girls Wrestling Championships

MILLERSVILLE – Hamburg’s Isabelle Wilkes had a surge of emotion when she became the first Berks County girl to win a District 3 wrestling championship.

In less than two hours, she had plenty of company.

Wilkes was the first of five Berks County wrestlers to win a title Saturday at Penn Manor in the inaugural PIAA District 3 Girls Wrestling Championships.

“It feels great,” Wilkes said. “To see how much these girls have grown in the last two years is just amazing.”

Wilkes, who won the 106-pound championship, was joined at the top of the podium by Hamburg teammate Shannon Govern, Schuylkill Valley’s Kayley Weidner, Wyomissing’s Olivia Tillman and Reading High’s Esmeralda Tellez.

Three other Berks wrestlers, Schuylkill Valley’s Addison Becht, Tulpehocken’s Katalyna Borelli and Wilson’s Tammy Nguyen, also placed in the top four of the respective weight classes to earn a trip to the first PIAA Girls Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center beginning on Thursday.

Girls regional and state tournaments previously were sponsored by MyHouse before the PIAA voted to sanction girls wrestling after more than 100 member schools adopted girls wrestling as an official sport.

“It’s so much more empowering,” Weidner said. “It does feel more real.”

Weidner defeated Borelli 4-2 in an all-Berks championship match at 136. Weidner trailed 2-1 heading into the third period before scoring an escape and takedown to avenge a loss to Borreli in the sectional finals.

Weidner had defeated Borreli earlier this season in a tournament.

“I think I just had more drive,” Weidner said. “I wanted to win regionals and get first. I knew I had beaten her before and I just had that drive to win again.”

Tillman was the only Berks wrestler to score a fall in the finals. It took Tillman – the only girl on the Wyomissing wrestling team – just 55 seconds to pin Anissa Orr of Penn Manor at 142.

“It feels amazing,” Tillman said. “I was crying. It just felt so good. It just felt like I finally achieved something that I’m really passionate about.”

Tellez’s victory in the 190-pound final was more dramatic. After two scoreless periods, Tellez scored an escape for a 1-0 victory over South Western’s Davina Crump.

“My coaches told me repeatedly that I was good,” Tellez said.

Govern turned in the most dramatic finals performance by a Berks wrestler. After battling Gettysburg’s Zalika Roberts to a 4-4 tie through three periods, Govern scored a takedown with nine seconds left in sudden victory overtime for a 6-4 win at 130.

It was an emotional victory for Govern, a regional runner-up and state qualifier last year.

“Last year we didn’t have anything like this,” Govern said. “I fell in the finals match at regionals. This year it feels so good to win at districts.”

Becht finished second at 118 after losing by fall to Mechanicsburg’s Kallie Bower. Nguyen placed fourth at 142.

They were among 20 girls from nine Berks County schools who earned the opportunity to compete in the first PIAA District 3 Girls Wrestling Championships.

“It feels a lot more official,” Govern said. “It feels so much better now that it’s sanctioned.”

The move to have girls wrestling sanctioned by the PIAA was an ongoing process that gained momentum when Gov. Mifflin became the first Berks County school to sponsor girls wrestling five years ago.

Gov. Mifflin’s Kevin Ochs, one of the founders of the Gov. Mifflin girls program, was on hand to coach and hand out the awards to the first PIAA qualifiers.

“It’s unbelievable,” Ochs said. “It’s way beyond my expectations where we’d be in five years.”

Source: Berkshire mont

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