WNY Athletics

Thuman, Edwards, Evans Lead Local Place Winners At Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships

The 3rd Annual NYS Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships tournament was held on Saturday with over 50 high school wrestlers representing the Monsignor Martin league and NYSPHSAA sections III, IV, V, and VI at Chautauqua Lake High School. The event was cancelled for the 2020-2021 season, but in the prior two years the tournament was competed at Niagara County Community College in 2019 and then at Brockport State in 2020.

Nine individual weight class champions were awarded led by local winners Alexiya Thuman (Lake Shore), Meghan Edwards (Lewiston-Porter), and Christina Evans (West Seneca West). Tioga’s (IV) Emily Sindoni was awarded Most Outstanding Wrestler for her 1st place finish at 126-pounds. Also, Canada’s three-time Olympic medalist Tonya Verbeek was in attendance to present the awards and share wisdom to the all-girls field.

“Nobody else wanted to step up and do it, so after a talk with Alex Conti we offered to host it,” said Chautauqua Lake girls head coach Peter Dorman on the opportunity to host the tournament in Mayville. “We just took the reins and ran with it.”

Chautauqua Lake entered a tournament high four athletes in the Intersectional Championships. According to Dorman, this season, the girls team was run as a separate squad from the boys with big plans on the horizon for the future of the team.

“We have been talking about a girls team for a number of years,” said Dorman. “From the beginning of the season, we treated our girls as a separate entity and ran it as an all-girls team. And, just last week, we received official Board approval to be on our own next year.”

According to Dorman, the Chautauqua Lake girls never wrestled boys this season while still technically being part of the school sponsored boys wrestling team. The 2022-2023 Chautauqua Lake girls team will be the first official all-female high school team amongst WNY public schools. Section V’s Warsaw and Section IV’s Tioga have also received Board approval in their respective districts to initiate all-girls wrestling teams.

“We’re gaining momentum,” said Dorman on the overall movement in NYS to promote girls high school wrestling. “There are some others in Section II that we expect to get approval this year. We will have at least a dozen all-girls teams in the state next season.”

Canadian Olympian Tonya Verbeek speaks to the participants of the 3rd Annual NYS Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships at Chautauqua Lake High School 

“The tournament was really good. There were a lot of high level girls there…there was some really tough girls,” said Lake Shore head coach Bill Sills. “Lexi was pretty good. She ran legs, she ran power half…I thought she was tough.”

Thuman, a 9th grader at Lake Shore, claimed 1st place at 118-pounds going 5-0 on the day including four pins to finish the season with an overall varsity and JV combined record 19-4.

Lake Shore’s Alexiya Thuman after taking first place at the Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships

Lewiston-Porter junior Meghan Edwards wrestled to a 1st place finish at 138-pounds with a 4-0 record in the bracket and recorded three pins. Edwards was a 5th place finisher in the 2020 event as well.

“Over the season I have worked very hard on positioning, drilling correctly in practice and turning what I have worked on in practice into how I wrestle live,” said Edwards. “I didn’t know what to expect after I won. I didn’t know what to think…I was overwhelmed with emotion. Starting ten years ago in wrestling, I never thought I would get this far into this sport.”

Lewiston-Porter’s Meghan Edwards wins the Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships title

West Seneca West sophomore Tina Evans completed a very impressive 2021-2022 season by winning the Intersectional Girls Championships 152-pound title, pinning all three of her opponents in the bracket while going 4-0 overall with an additional crossover bout. Evans’ final season record stands at 23-3 overall to include both varsity and junior varsity results.

“The thing about Tina is she is always wanting to learn more,” said West Seneca head coach Dave Recor. “She picks up moves so quick…quicker than some other wrestlers I’ve had that were really good. She is always willing to try new things, even right in a match. Tina is an awesome young lady.”

West Seneca West’s Tina Evans after claiming first place at the Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships 

Lewiston-Porter twin sisters Meghan and Gwyneth Edwards brought some of the most experience to Chautauqua Lake in the entire tournament field. On Saturday, Gwyneth became a three-time Intersectional place winner in addition to Meghan’s two tournament place finishes through the first three years of the event.

“Seeing the number of girls that have competed in the tournament, the popularity, the number of spectators that came and watched and supported all of us wrestling really made me happy on far this tournament has come and how far girls wrestling in this state has come, and what we can expect for the years to come,” said Gwyneth after the tournament. “…like maybe sanctioning girls wrestling and giving girls the same chance to have the same opportunities as boys to learn the life lessons, meet new friends, and the support system that wrestling brings you.”

The Edwards sisters added on the overall girls wrestling environment in WNY “At the first tournament this season we all met each other and immediately clicked. Wrestling brings you so close and makes such a close knit group of friends. The McCarley twins from North Tonawanda have become our best friends. We always hang out at tournaments and support each other’s teams. The close knit group of individuals is amazing. Even just talking to some girls for fifteen minutes you automatically have a new friend. That’s who you look for in tournaments, who you might practice with in the offseason…you have someone to talk to and relate to.”

L-P’s Edwards’ sisters, North Tonawanda’s McCarley sisters, and Penfield’s (V) Emmie Moore (center)

Six champions from outside of the Section VI region claimed gold on Saturday as well, including General Brown’s (III) Zoey Jewett at 102, Bolivar-Richburg’s (V) Teegan Sibble at 110, Tioga’s Sindoni at 126, Sherburne-Earlville’s (III) Selina Moore at 132, Warsaw’s (V) Hailey DeGroff at 145, and Canandaigua’s (V) Sophie Pollack at 189. Pollack is currently a nationally ranked wrestler in her weight division according to Flowrestlng.

Jamestown senior Skylynn Tomlinson finished off her Red Raiders career as one of the most decorated veterans of the event with a runner-up finish at 102-pounds; she was a runner-up in 2019 and an Intersectional champion in 2020 as well.

Jamestown’s Skylynn Tomlinson in action at the 3rd Annual Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships. Photo courtesy of Michelle Gilbert/MaxPreps

B-R’s Sibble and Lockport’s Maleah McKinney-Updegraph championship bout featured two female athletes who placed in their respective boys class sectional tournaments two weeks ago. McKinney-Updegraph was a 3rd place finisher in the Section VI Class AA tournament while Sibble was a Section V Class B3 champion. Sibble made history this season as the very first female to win a class individual title in Section V history.

Lockport’s Maleah McKinney-Updegraph looking for a pin in the Intersectional Girls Championships. Photo courtesy of Michelle Gilbert/MaxPreps

Wrestlers prepare of the finals of the 3rd Annual Intersectional Girls Wrestling Championships 

North Tonawanda place winners Hannah McCarley (left), Emily Barcik (center), and Brenna McCarley (right)

Overall WNY place winners:


2nd – Skylyn Tomlinson – Jamestown

3rd – Brenna McCarley – North Tonawanda

4th – Brooklyn Pryll – Falconer/Cassadaga Valley


2nd – Maleah McKinney-Updegraph – Lockport

5th – Hannah McCarley – North Tonawanda

8th – Bridget Martin – St. Mary’s


1st – Alexiya Thuman – Lake Shore

5th – Alax Siliano – Chautauqua Lake

6th – Alexis Creek – Cheektowaga


4th – Grace Monheim – St. Mary’s

5th – Gabriella Testa – Chautauqua Lake


3rd – Michaela Thomas – Iroquois

4th – Emily Barcik – North Tonawanda

5th – Madison Szymanowski – Chautauqua Lake


1st – Meghan Edwards – Lewiston-Porter

2nd – Mia Smith – Chautauqua Lake

3rd – Sophia Saffrin – Orchard Park


2nd – Amelia Drew – Frontier

3rd – Gwyneth Edwards – Lewiston-Porter

4th – Molly Tavenner – Orchard Park


1st – Christina Evans – West Seneca West

2nd – Emylee Bailey – Portville


2nd – Jocelyn Munoz – Cheektowaga


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