June 23, 2018
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WA wrestler Mrazik 7th at national meet for girls


Chianti Mrazik of Washington Academy in East Machias won three of her five matches to place seventh in the 112-pound weight division of the USGWA national high school girls wrestling championships held over the weekend at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich.

“She did well,” said WA wrestling coach Aaron James.

More than 300 wrestlers representing 28 states participated in the high school division of the USGWA nationals.

James acknowledged it was difficult for meet organizers to seed wrestlers from around the country, but he felt most of the stronger wrestlers at 112 pounds were in the top half of the 16-wrestler bracket — a bracket that included Mrazik.

Mrazik, a senior from East Machias, won her first match in the two-day competition by pinning Michigan’s Deandra Benn in 3 minutes, 35 seconds. That advanced her to a second-round match against Sarah Hildebrandt of Tennessee. Hildebrandt, who went on to win the national title in the 112-pound class, pinned Mrazik in 1:28, relegating Mrazik to the consolation bracket.

“The girl from Tennessee was a great wrestler, and Chianti only has three years of experience,” said James. “I asked (Hildebrandt) how long she’d been wrestling, and she said her dad was a wrestling coach and she had been wrestling since she was 3.”

Mrazik rebounded from that loss to earn her second victory of the tournament by pinning Kasey Ricketts of Michigan in 4:14, but she then was pinned by Tozhia Passemato of New York in 3:00.

That sent Mrazik to the seventh-place match and a rematch against Benn.

This time the match was much closer but Mrazik built an early lead and fought off a reversal and near fall against her in the final minute to earn an 11-10 decision.

Mrazik had qualified for the nationals by sweeping four matches, all by first-round pins, at the New England championships held in mid-March at Nashua, N.H.

Athletic administrators honored

Veteran athletic administrators Jim Murphy of George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill and Gerald Hutchinson of Penobscot Valley of Howland were among those honored when the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association held their 39th annual spring conference last week at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

Murphy received the Martin Ryan Award of Excellence for his efforts on behalf of the Blue Hill school and interscholastic athletics throughout the state.

Hutchinson was presented the Past Presidents’ Special Achievement Award.

Recently retired Madawaska athletic administrator Ed Marshall also was recognized as the recipient of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association State Award of Merit, while former Medomak Valley of Waldoboro athletic administrator Doug Libby was presented the MIAAA/Maine Hall of Fame Retired AD Award.

Other Eastern Mainers honored were Andy Nickerson of Brewer and Wight’s Sporting Goods, recipient of the Lawrence LaBrie Distinguished Service Award-Statewide; and Dick McGee of Fairfield and the Fairfield PAL, Distinguished Service Award-Local Level.

Todd Sampson of Westbrook was named Robert Lahey MIAAA Athletic Administrator of the Year, while Gary Stevens of Thornton Academy in Saco was presented the Gerald Durgin Excellence in Leadership Award. Dan McLeod of Wells Junior High School received the Excellence in Middle Level Athletic Administration Award, Susan Robbins of Yarmouth earned the Keith Lancaster MIAAA Professional Development Award, and Jack Trull of Old Orchard Beach was the recipient of the Robert Boucher Award.

MIAAA Special Achievement Awards were presented to Dave Wakana of Caribou for the Aroostook League, Randy Morrison of Calais (Downeast Athletic Conference), Hutchinson of PVHS (Penobscot Valley Conference), Dennis Kiah of Brewer (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference), Brian Laramee of Buckfield (East-West Conference), Charlie Swan of Dirigo of Dixfield (Mountain Valley Conference), Rich Buzzell of Marshwood of Eliot (Southern Maine Activities Association), and Todd Livingston of Falmouth (Western Maine Conference).

Recognized as MIAAA scholar-athletes were Hayli Kinney and Dylan Meklin of Rockland District High School and Gabriele Donahue of Cape Elizabeth, while Zach Babin of Mount View of Thorndike and Anna Snook of Cheverus of Portland were MIAAA essay winners.

Media awards were presented to Gloria Brown Austin of the Houlton Pioneer Times (print) and Bruce and Al Ibarguen of WKTJ-FM in Farmington (electronic).

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