It's been ten years since head wrestling coach Kassie Archambault created, organized, and hosted the first annual female wrestling tournament at Phillips Academy. While the pandemic saw the tournament canceled in 2021, the exponential growth of the competition has been striking. This year, 103 wrestlers from 30 different schools participated in the 9th Annual Phillips Academy Girls Wrestling tournament. Archambault reflected on the competition's growth,

"It’s been amazing to look back on the growth of this tournament. When we started in 2014 we had 9 entries, 4 of whom were PA wrestlers. In 2017, when we opened the tournament to public schools and added a guest clinician, we rose to 29 wrestlers. Now 6 years later, we had over 100 wrestlers from 30 different schools. This is such an important event- for many, it’s their first opportunity to wrestle against other girls. For some, they are the only girls on their team, and it’s the first time they see how large (and welcoming) the female wrestling community really is. Wrestlers leave the event having made new friends on top of participating in great competition. We could not host this event without the support of our Athletic Department and the entire Andover Wrestling team (coaches and wrestlers who help run the tables). It’s a labor of love."

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This year's 130 participants represented 30 different schools.

Katherine Shai providing instruction

Prior to the competition, as has become a fixture of the tournament, the wrestlers participated in a skills clinic. This year's guest was seven-time National Team Member, two-time College National Champion, World University Champion, and two-time Olympic team alternate, Katherine Shai.

The tournament field had fourteen blocked weights, eleven of which were eight-person brackets, and three of which were round-robin brackets of five. For the eight-person brackets, double elimination was used and wrestling went through 4th place.

Phillips Academy took the team title with twenty-seven points; Silver Lake came in 2nd place with eleven team points. Sara McLaughlin of Scituate High School was the 116 lb champion and earned "Outstanding Wrestler" of the day honors.

Sara McLaughlin (R), "Outstanding Wrestler"

Place winners:

105: 1. Jailyn Edwards, Josiah Quincy HS, 2.Maddie Morse, St. Paul’s, 3. Gracia Galicia, Marvelwood, 4. Claire Yoon, Middlesex

108.9: 1. Daniel Gasso, Portsmouth Abbey, 2.Hailey Lewis, Silver Lake, 3. Molly Moroney, Burlington, 4. Margaret Tsien, Phillips Academy

113: 1. Sydney Diauto, Silver Lake, 2.Sakina Cotton, Phillips Academy, 3. Abigail Muller, Leominster, 4. Thu Hoang, Marianapolis

116.4: 1. Sara McLaughlin, Scituate, 2.Rowan McIntosh, NMH, 3. Sachi Mehra, Choate, 4. Kassie Schaeberle, Middlesex

121.1: 1. Madeline Li, Andover HS, 2. Maya Douge, Middlesex, 3. Brooke Lightfoot, Tewksbury, 4. Julia Carmona, Phillips Academy

124.9: 1. Hannah Bryson, Wilmington, 2. Lilly Gessner, Lawrenceville, 3. Tasha Bohorad, Phillips Academy, 4. Luke Christodoulou, Phillips Academy

128.1: 1. Natalia Accorsi, Tabor, 2.Eva Murphy, Phillips Academy, 3. Olivia Delegas, Greater Lawrence, 4. Anjue Liang, Boston Latin

133.4: 1. Linh Ho, Boston Latin, 2.Waverly Compagnone, Portsmouth Abbey, 3. Fiona Fittante, Middlesex, 4. Maddei Joyce, Marianapolis

139.6: 1. Elsa Holmes & Leanne La, Choate, 3. Charlotte Lokere, Lawrence Academy, 4. Avery Colgate, Governor’s

145.3: 1. Lily Fitzpatrick, St. Paul’s, 2. Ivy Michaud, Masconomet, 3. Tess Clabaugh, Boston Latin, 4. Bella Shmuylovich, Phillips Academy

151.4: 1. Xavia Banigan, Governor’s, 2. Reagan Ramadan, West Nottingham (MD), 3. Meghan Wiebe, Sharon, 4. Merrit Coward, Portsmouth Abbey

164.8: 1. Daniela Nugent Phillips Academy, 2. Kiia Huovinen, West Nottingham (MD), 3. Karla Lazaro, NMH, 4. Olivia Maddams, Chapel Hill

180.3: 1. Tayla Tildsley, Phillips Academy, 2. Lindsay Laws, Silver Lake, 3. Niyala Curley, NMH, 4. Marisol Almanzar, Greater Lawrence

HWT: 1. Samantha Rabkin, Sharon, 2. Eleanor DeHoog, Phillips Academy, 3 (tie): Destiny Covington, Phillips Academy, Dylan Hoyes-Gwebenyo, Marvelwood, Leticia Nhaule, Phillips Academy

TEAM SCORES (5-3-2-1):

1. Phillips Academy 27, 2. Silver Lake 11, 3. Choate 10, 4. Portsmouth Abbey 8, T5. Boston Latin, NMH, Middlesex with 7pt (26 teams scored points)

Outstanding Wrestler: Sara McLaughlin, Scituate, 116.4

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Team Champions, Phillips Academy

If you build it, they will come. Nine years ago, head wrestling coach Kassie Archambault may not have envisioned how creating a space and opportunity for girls to participate in wrestling would literally grow the sport exponentially throughout the region. Now, this full day tournament with over thirty schools represented and over one hundred athletes stands out as the best of the best of NEPSAC athletic experiences. We are truly honored to host the girls’ wrestling tournament each year and anticipate its continued growth on the shoulders of a true giant in her sport, Coach Archambault. These inspiring female wrestlers and Coach A encourage us all to lean into the spaces and attitudes that hold our female student-athletes back from any and all opportunities they deserve and where we know they will shine.

Lisa Joel Director of Athletics