HOUSTON - Inside the Berry Center on Friday night, it was all about the ladies.
No Houston-area boys advanced to the state championship bout, leaving it up to the girls to bring home the hardware and they did not disappoint.
Kingwood Park's Maddie Sandquist (138-pound), Lexi Shannon (215-pound) and Friendswood's Avery Beckman (148-pound) all brought home gold medals. Sandquist was later named the 5A Girls Most Outstanding Wrestler.
"I'm just overjoyed," Shannon said. "Very excited. It's just surreal. Just seeing all my hard work pay off is just amazing. I just can't put it into words."
Sandquist was the only reigning champ to wrestle on Friday night from the Houston area. It only took her 2:38 to pin her opponent, defeating Maya Lewis of Dallas Sunset with a pin.
The Kingwood Park senior finished her season a perfect 30-0 and her career as a two-time champion.
"[Wrestling] is the best sport ever," Sandquist said. "Everybody should come out and wrestle."
VYPE 🎙: @kp_wrestling junior Lexi Shannon is all smiles after winning her first ever state title in her 3rd trip to state. #UILState @KPARKmedia @HumbleISD_KPHS @HumbleISD @HumbleISD_Ath @KParkGBBall @kparkgirlsoc @KPARKBaseball1 @KParkBasketball @KPVolleyball1 pic.twitter.com/U6bv6cfakM— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) April 24, 2021
Kingwood Park finished with two state champions on the night. For the program, which before last year never had a better finish by a wrestler than fourth, now has three state championships in the last two years.
For Jeff Knight, his next step is to take Shannon and Sandquist down to the middle schools that feed into Kingwood Park to continue to excite future girls about wrestling.
"It's huge [for our program]," Knight said. "We'll go down to our feeder schools with them holding their medals and trying to get more girls to step up and follow in their footsteps. We're just really excited."
In the very next match, Beckman was looking to make history for Friendswood and become the first-ever state champion. She defeated Jazmine Garcia of El Paso Ysleta in 2:49 with a pin.
BREAKING: @FwoodWrestling Avery Beckman wins the 5A-148 pound State Championship with a second period pin. She led 4-0 when she won. #UILState @friendswoodisd @FriendswoodBC @KPRC2RandyMc @FwoodVolleyball @FwoodFootball pic.twitter.com/tbIciO7NM1— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) April 24, 2021
Waller's Sierra Hall took second in the 5A-185-pound state championship, falling 5-4 in her title bout. The Waller standout finished her season 17-2 overall and as a state runner-up.