Trio of NIC-10 girls wrestlers crowned individual state champions

Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 10:51 PM CST
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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WIFR) - “To be the best you have to beat the best.”

That was the case Saturday at the IHSA Girls Wrestling Individual States Finals at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington as three local wrestlers earned a chance to become a state champion in their respective weight classes. All three hail from the NIC-10 conference, two of which wrestle for back-to-back state titles.

At 120 pounds, Hononegah’s Angelina Cassioppi faced Yamulet Aguirre of Yorkville. The 100-pound state champ as a freshman last year got her opponent this year to fall in 1:32. Angelina says she is confident this won’t be her last trip to state.

“Training was consistent, and I went all year training hard working hard and, in the end, it worked out so I’m really happy... I guess it wouldn’t put more pressure on it but I’m excited to go two more years and make it four,” says Cassioppi.

Freeport’s Cadence Diduch and Claudia Heeney of Lockport meet in a battle of the undefeateds at 125 pounds. Diduch was a state champion last year at 120 pounds and she is thrilled to go back-to-back.

“Two is always better than one so I’m really excited I could finish it out and get two...It shows how dominant girls wrestling is in our area and I’m glad our area can be known for having strong women’s wrestlers,” says Diduch.

Netavia Wickson of Boylan completed the NIC-10 tri-fecta to be the 135-pound state champion. Her motivation? A second-place finish in this same weight class last season. Netavia wins by major decision 9-1.

“It feels great because I’ve worked really hard. I trained and trained non-stop and consistently. Always pushing myself to the best and knowing that I have to avenge something here today,” says Wickson.