Gomez, Rodriguez win state titles

Gomez, Rodriguez win state titles

  • Glenbard North's Gabriella Gomez beat Lincoln-Way Central's Gracie Guarino 5-3 to win the 105-pound state championship Saturday at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington.

    Glenbard North's Gabriella Gomez beat Lincoln-Way Central's Gracie Guarino 5-3 to win the 105-pound state championship Saturday at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

  • Glenbard North's Gabriella Gomez, left, faces off against Lincoln-Way Central's Gracie Guarino n the 105 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign.

    Glenbard North's Gabriella Gomez, left, faces off against Lincoln-Way Central's Gracie Guarino n the 105 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

  • Lincoln-Way Central's Gracie Guarino looks to roll Glenbard North's Gabriella Gomez in the 105 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign.

    Lincoln-Way Central's Gracie Guarino looks to roll Glenbard North's Gabriella Gomez in the 105 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

  • Batavia's Sydney Perry poses with her 1st place medal for the 145 pound class at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign.

    Batavia's Sydney Perry poses with her 1st place medal for the 145 pound class at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

  • Batavia's Sydney Perry wins with a fall against West Aurora Dyani Rivera in the 145 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign.

    Batavia's Sydney Perry wins with a fall against West Aurora Dyani Rivera in the 145 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

  • Batavia's Sydney Perry defeated West Aurora's Dyani Rivera in the 145-pound state championship match Saturday at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington.

    Batavia's Sydney Perry defeated West Aurora's Dyani Rivera in the 145-pound state championship match Saturday at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

  • Batavia's Sydney Perry works over West Aurora Dyani Rivera in the 145 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign.

    Batavia's Sydney Perry works over West Aurora Dyani Rivera in the 145 pound championship match at Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Champaign. Gary Middendorf/gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/28/2022 6:29 PM

Fourteen girls indelibly left their mark on Illinois' prep athletic landscape on Saturday afternoon at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

Noella Vazquez, a Fenton senior, put its significance in perspective.

 

"It was the first-ever state tournament for girls sanctioned by the IHSA," said Vazquez, who closed out her final season at 27-2 after a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Oak Park-River Forest senior Tiffany White in the third-place 190-pound match at the inaugural girls wrestling state finals.

Considering the traditional potency of the Glenbard North boys program, it was only fitting Gabriela Gomez became the first female state champion in county history.

The Panthers' freshman became the second undefeated state champion with her back-to-back 5-3 victories in the 105-pound semifinals and finals.

The championship victory for Gomez came at the expense of Lincoln-Way Central sophomore Gracie Guarino.

Jayden Huesca Rodriguez was unquestionably a revelation for West Chicago at 190 pounds.

Relatively unheralded entering the state tournament, the sophomore steamrolled her four opponents, recording three consecutive falls to reach the championship match.

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Rodriguez was equally unstoppable in the finals against Morton namesake Diana Rodriguez as the former accrued 17 points to cap a technical-fall victory at the third-period buzzer.

Vazquez, the top seed at 190 pounds, was seeking to add an IHSA state title to her IWCOA crown from last spring.

But the Bison senior had to fight back in the consolation bracket after being upset in the Friday quarterfinals.

"I was very, very disappointed," Vazquez said. "But it gave me a chance to bounce back."

The fourth and final local all-state performance was authored by Glenbard East senior Dahlia Leighton.

A 125-pounder who capped her final season with a 20-3 mark, Leighton had an overtime takedown to defeat Vandalia sophomore 6-4 for third place.

Sydney Perry, a Batavia sophomore who has never lost a match against a female opponent, pinned West Aurora senior Dyani Rivera late in the third period of their 145-pound title match.

Perry, who won all four of her matches by fall, finished the season with a flawless 21-0 record; Rivera ended her campaign at 21-5.

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