On Saturday, May 21, five girls from Beat the Streets competed at the Body Bar Nationals, a Cadet/Junior World Team Trials tournament in Irving, Texas.
Head girls coach Jacque Davis says that there were several impressive accomplishments this year. “Last year, we only had one athlete receive All-American honors and she was a senior. What is exciting to me is that the two youngest athletes we brought out were the two that received All-American honors. For me, knowing that Hailey Cancelleri and Michaela Beck will be around for the next two years and that they will be becoming the leaders in their groups, means that NYC has an extremely bright future with the growth and quality of our female athletes coming after them.”
Andreina Rodriguez, an 11th grader from Grover Cleveland High School, and Zopouled Davis, an 11th grader from New Dorp High School, were both All-American hopefuls who were only one match away from the placing rounds. Pearl Fletcher, an 11th grader from Truman High School, was also in competition.
Hailey Cancelleri, a 10th grade student from Curtis High School, took 7th place after a dramatic day. Cancelleri is, according to Davis, an amazing student whom she expects to see in the top three next year. Her first match was against Sierra Wachowiak from Texas, whom Cancelleri “double-legged into the next world.” She gained a 12-0 score, which is a technical fall, moving her forward to the quarter finals of her weight class. Cancelleri had a tough match-up in the quarter finals, meeting the #1 seed and eventual champion at this weight, Abby Lees from Washington. Abbey teched and pinned her way through the tournament until she met Cancelleri, who gave her the closest match she had all day, ending at a 9-5 finish in Abbey's favor. Cancelleri was now wrestling back for 3rd and this is where she met Mikayla Mata from Texas. Cancelleri got a pin 2:10 into the first period, moving her on to the consolation quarter finals where she met Alexis Cavero from California. This was a close battle going back and forth and eventually ending in Cavero's favor with a 10-5 score. Cancelleri was now wrestling for 7th or 8th and next had to face Sierra Pesnell from Indiana, a two time All-American from this year's Folkstyle National Championships in Oklahoma. “This stat didn't scare Hailey,” said Davis, “who was at a point advantage at the end of the first period before she got the beautiful arm spin in the beginning of the second with which she was able to pin her opponent.” With this victory, Cancelleri secured a 7th place finish at her first trip to Body Bar.
Michaela Beck, a 10th grader from Fusion High School, was a finalist hopeful who experienced, in Davis’s words, “a tragic day.” She broke into the tournament with astounding dominance, flying through her first match and gaining a 10-0 technical fall over her second opponent, Rhett Marks from Texas. Her quarter finals match was to be against Erin Redford, a Folkstyle National All-American and Washington National Team member. Michaela started the match strong, gaining the first point based off a passivity call on Redford, but as the second period approached, the referee determined Beck to be the passive wrestler and gave Redford a point because of it. In freestyle wrestling, this means that Redford scored last, making her the winner by criteria. “It was a sore way for a match to be determined, especially at a world team trial,” said Davis, “but Michaela had to move forward and achieve the next best thing.”
Wrestling back for third, Beck met Randi Robinson from Illinois, another Folkstyle National All-American. She gained a technical fall, quickly moving her on to the consolation quarter finals where she met long time friend and frequent opponent Brianna Csontos of Virginia. Csontos is a tough competitor, winning national All-American status at both Folkstyle Nationals in Oklahoma and Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota; despite this, Michaela pulled out a pin 2:00 min into the first period. She was now in the consolation semis, where again she would meet long time friend and frequent opponent Cara Broadus from Connecticut. Cara and Beck wrestle often, and although Broadus is strong and unconventional, Davis expected that Beck would be the winner. This particular time, the match went in Broadus’s favor by an 8-8 criteria decision that occurred with a takedown and turn in the last 5 seconds of the match. Again, it was another heartbreak, but Beck had one last match to wrestle to determine if she would receive 5th or 6th place. Her opponent here was Allison Petix from Nevada, over whom she wasted no time gaining a tech fall, making Beck the 5th ranked girl in the country.
Beat the Streets also had an alumna wrestling in the Junior Division. Destane Garrick is a graduate from Wingate High School, a soon-to-be graduate from Springfield Tech Community College in Massachusetts, and a soon-to-be student-athlete at Mckendree University where another BTS alumna, Shannon Henry, is wrestling as well.
“As a coach,” Davis said, “it was very exciting to be able to step back in her corner and coach again and I believe that for our girls who wrestled, it was very exciting to be able to see someone who is a coach on their Fargo staff competing. It allows them to see the future of the sport.”
Davis had an optimistic take on the future careers of her younger wrestlers. “I think that every once in a while, a coach needs to see their athletes right on the edge of greatness to get inspired to change the training regimens or camp curriculums in order to better suit them. This competition did exactly that for me. I watched our two youngest girls receive All-American and I watched two of our older athletes, Zopouled David and Andreina Rodriguez, fall short in two very heart-breaking matches and all I could think was, ‘How can I do better as a coach to better prepare them for the situations that they just experienced?’”
While still seeing progress to be made, Davis was grateful and excited to see how close her girls came to becoming champions.
“In my mind, the future is ours.”