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Sherman wins first Falcon gold in girls wrestling



Skyridge sophomore Madison Sherman won the state title in the 145 bracket at the Class 6A girls wrestling tournament Thursday (Feb. 15) at Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center.

It’s the first-ever state gold medal for the Falcons in girls wrestling, which was added as an independent sport in the 2020-21 school year.

Sherman captured the silver last year as a freshman, when the girls tournament was held in conjunction with the boys event. This year they were separated for the first time.

Skyridge senior teammate Nadia Thomas claimed a silver medal in the 130 weight class after collecting the bronze a year ago.

The two combined for 54 points to tie with Pleasant Grove for 14th place in the overall team standings. Copper Hills, with 22 entrants, was the overall winner with 195.5 points.

Sherman won her first three rounds by fall in a matter of seconds. She got started by pinning Jack Moulton of Layton in 21 seconds. Next up was Rianne Zhou of Mountain Ridge, and she was eliminated in 25 seconds.

In the semifinal, Sherman took on Corner Canyon’s Kinsey Byrge and eliminated her in 19 seconds. Mountain Ridge’s Olivia Merino lasted a little longer, but Sherman pinned her in the second period at 3:28 to secure the championship. She finished the year with a 34-3 record.


“I don’t know if I can talk right now, I’m still shaking like crazy,” Sherman said after her title match. “It just feels amazing. I’ve been doing a lot of burpees (a difficult exercise) and I was hoping that would pay off. It seemed to work so I’ll probably do that next year too.”

Skyridge Coach Lyle Mangum gave some directions to Sherman that were a bit unexpected. “During the (title) match he was telling me to do a move that I had never done before and it ended up helping me,” she said.

“He told me to go neutral and I usually go top or bottom and so I was a little nervous about doing that, but I believed in him and I went for it and it ended up working really well,” Sherman said. “Sometimes you’ve got to trust the people that have been helping you out.”

Coach Lyle Mangum explained, “She had locked her hands twice, so she had to get back to her feet where we’re strong and be able to get her taken down since that’s her best move.”

Sherman called Mangum “super inspiring and an awesome coach” but she also acknowledged a different person who has been a great help to her. “Another of my coaches is my Dad,” she said. “He’s my biggest supporter and I’m thankful he’s in my life. He’s the one who’s always been pushing me.”

Mangum added, “She has three outstanding wrestler awards on the year. The thing about Madison is she is a worker and puts in time in the weight room. She does 400 burpees every day just to warm up.”

Thomas also pinned her first three opponents. She defeated Marley Halterman of Farmington at 2:44, Alexis Pavlides of Riverton at 5:29 and Ameris Jensen of Westlake at 4:56. In the title match, she fought hard but Kaitlyn Worthley of Fremontprevailed by 12-6 decision.

Thomas completed her prep career with an official 39-5 record this season. “Nadia was the top total match scorer in every tournament she was in and had 34 pins,” Mangum said. “So, she was usually tech falling the girls as she pinned them. Her offensive repertoire is the best in the state.


“So many people just come to tournaments to watch her wrestle,” he continued. “For having started in the sport just over two years ago, her learning curve has been amazing.

“Her choice of places to wrestle in college is long and she is a joy to coach,” Mangum said. Thomas will be making four campus visits in the next two weeks. “She learned from LiannyBarrena how to be a champion and she has helped lay the groundwork for a fabulous legacy to come at Skyridge.

“She will be missed but it will be fun to watch her future path to come,” Mangum said, noting that she also has a long list of most outstanding wrestler awards. “She is also a national-caliber rugby player and that has helped her speed and toughness.

“All rugby players should wrestle and all football players should wrestle,” the coach said. “They are the same sport, just different seasons.”

Freshman Presley Schroeder (110), sophomore Makayla Price (130), sophomore Shaelynn Willes (155) and senior Grace Brimhall (155) also represented the Falcons at the state tournament but were all eliminated after two bouts.

“All the girls have been wrestling hard and we’ve had good senior leadership from Nadia,” the coach said. “They are an awesome group of young ladies.

“The girls are interesting because they’re so flexible and they have a lot of drive,” Mangum said. “They are very hard workers and it’s been nothing but fun. They’re always smiling, laughing and stuff like that.”

Bowen Thomas contributed to this report.


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