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HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS WRESTLING: Southern's Young takes second at first-ever KHSAA state championships

Feb. 18—LEXINGTON — Five wrestlers from Madison County competed on Saturday in a historic event — the first-ever Kentucky High School Athletic Association Girls State Championship.

And four of them earned places on the podium.

Madison Southern senior Sierra Young finished as the state runner-up at 152 pounds, while Southern's Hayley Young (235) and Madison Central's Hailey Jo Butts (185) took third place in their weight classes.

Central's Eryah Reese placed fourth at 165 pounds.

Central finished 13th in the team standings with 41 points. Southern was 15th with 39 points.

Taylor County (123.5 points) claimed the first-ever KHSAA team title, while Harrison County (100) was second.

"For the girls to finally get to walk out there in that arena in front of all those people and compete for their own state (KHSAA) championship, it was just exciting," Madison Southern coach Brian Bertrand said. "Just seeing the looks on their faces was so much fun."

Sierra Young won titles in each of the past two seasons at the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association (KYWCA) Girls State Championships.

On Saturday, she earned two wins by fall, then defeated Emma Hood of Highlands, 10-3, in the semifinals. The senior was set meet Naomi Santiago of Henderson County in the championship match, but had to default because of a medical issue.

Sierra Young passed out after her victory in the regional championship match and had issues again after the semifinal win at the state meet.

"I could not allow her to put her body through that again," Bertrand said. "I was scared to death. She was crushed, but in the end, she understood."

Butts won her first two matches before dropping an 8-5 decision to Kaylyn Lawson of Taylor County. In the third-place match, the junior pinned Alyssa Pinkston of Boyle County.

Hayley Young got a bye in the first round, then was upset by Elene Niyogushima of Lafayette by fall. She battled back to earn three wins in the consolation bracket to earn a spot in the third-place match, where she beat Destiny Jackson of Boyd County.

Reese lost her first match, then won four-straight matches. In the third-place match, she fell to McKenna Hendricks of Trigg County by fall.

Central's Mikhiyah Compton lost both her matches in the 132-pound weight class.