By: Logan Parvinen
The USAW Women Folkstyle Nationals took place in Omaha, Nebraska, on March 4th – 5th. A total of 21 wrestlers from the Treasure State competed to show their skills against the best in the country. Two girls from Butte represented Montana in the tournament.
Sisters Sophie Grunhuvd and Nevaeh Grunhuvd competed in both the 16 and Under division and the Junior division. Nevaeh would finish 6th in the 132 lb 16U class, and Sophie finished 7th in the 122 lb 16U class. These finishes were good enough for them to etch the words “All-American” into their ever-growing resumes.
Sophie, a freshman who finished 2nd at the all-class state tournament in Billings, started her day with a 6-4 overtime loss against Calista Rodish of Iowa. This loss sparked the kindling as Sophie would win three straight matches by pinfall. With a guaranteed spot on the podium, Sophie would lose 9-0 to Ava Strayer of Indiana in the consolation quarterfinals. Sophie would face Devlynn Albrecht of Wisconsin in the 7th-place match. After being down 7-0 in the 3rd period, Sophie would pick up a late pinfall to secure the win.
Nevaeh, a freshman who finished 5th at the all-class state tournament in Billings, started with a 51-second pinfall over Violet Grey of Colorado. Her next match against Bailey Chafin of Oregon was an all-out offensive showcase. Nevaeh would stand victorious with a 17-15 decision that guaranteed her a podium spot. After a 16-4 loss to Lillian Banks of Wisconsin, who won the 132 16U class, Nevaeh would lose to nationally ranked Taylor Dawson of Illinois in the consolation semifinals. Nevaeh would face a familiar opponent for the 5th place match in Makenzee Neal of Billings West. Makenzee took 2nd at the all-class state tournament in the 138 lb class. Nevaeh would lose in a 10-1 decision, but her 6th-place finish was enough to become an All-American.
Sophie and Nevaeh would bump up an age group to compete in the Junior division against some of the best in the country. Both girls would win at least one match in the Junior division.
Sophie would face Siena Palmisciano of North Carolina in the first round of the Junior 122 lb class. Sophie would come away with the pinfall victory, which led her to nationally ranked Alexis Pehrson of Nebraska. Sophie would suffer her only pinfall of the tournament at the hands of Alexis. Sophie would then lose 9-0 against Valery Ethington of Utah, ending her Junior division run.
In the 132 Junior class with 34 girls competing, Nevaeh would lose to Lindsey Anderson in the second round after a first-round bye. Nevaeh would battle back with two straight pinfall victories over Jordan Aschoff of Nebraska and Bliss Joyce of North Carolina. Nevaeh ran into Amanda Jaeger of Kansas, who would end Nevaeh’s Junior run with a 13-0 decision.
You will see Sophie and Nevaeh Grunhuvd represent the Mining City for years to come. Congrats Girls!
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