By Mark Jurgena
It was quite a weekend for Collinsville freshman Taylor Dawson at the inaugural IHSA girls wrestling state tournament at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.
Dawson won her first three matches before falling in the title bout to Natasha Markoutsis of Yorkville via pinfall at the 2:47 mark.
She completed her weekend at state with a 3-1 mark. She finished her season at 19-23. She went 8-2 against female competitors.
“I am impressed with Taylor and her dedication, work ethic, commitment, and coachability,” said Collinsville wrestling coach Alex Taylor. “Not only this weekend but all season. While she came short of her goals, she accomplished many amazing things this season. She has set the bar very high not only for other young women who are/will join our Collinsville wrestling team but for everyone who is/will be joining our Collinsville wrestling team. I am very happy and proud of her performance.”
In the title bout, Dawson fell behind 2-0 early then fell three more points behind on a near fall just before the end of the first period.
She chose top to begin the second and secured a cradle for a near fall to make it 5-3. However, Markoutsis reversed it and quickly turned it into a pin to win the match.
In the semifinals, she beat Bri Bynum of Sherrard via pinfall at 4:17.
“Taylor wrestled very hard in the semifinal match and did what she does best, come out on top,” said assistant coach Jordan May. “Taylor displayed a lot of heart in her match as it was a little more challenging than previous ones. She continues to put in hard work.”
On day one at the state meet she beat Dahlia Leighton of Lombard (Glenbard East) via pinfall at the 2:19 mark. Leighton had a 16-3 mark after the match.
In her second match, she pinned Carly Ford of Coal City in 49 seconds. Ford had a 14-4 mark after that matchup.
“Taylor Dawson’s approach to the state tournament is sharp-witted and aggressive,” said Jordan May after day one. “She’s going out with a plan and sticking with it.
“I think sticking with the plan is the same as moving forward and she hasn’t surprised me at all. She’s doing what she does best.”
Highland’s Rottman Places 3rd
Highland’s freshman August Rottman started her state tournament with a 7-5 decision over Kelli Watkins of Lockport at 170 pounds on February 25th. In match two she pinned Alexandra Strzelecki of Huntley in 2:43.
In her semifinal match the following day she was defeated by Rose Cassioppi of Rockton (Hononegah) via pinfall at 1:33. Cassioppi went on to win the 170-pound state title.
In the wrestle back she pinned Trinity White of Oak Park (River Forest) at 1:33. White finished the year at 24-2. That win put Rottman into the third-place match against Maria Ferrer of Elgin (Larkin). She won that match at the 2:48 mark.
Rottman finished the season with a 22-15 mark.