Katie Germain completed her sweep with a fourth consecutive girls state wrestling title Saturday, Jan. 26, at Liberty High School in Kissimmee.
Katie, a senior at George Jenkins High, put together four first period pins to win the 132-pound division.
“It was kind of a bittersweet victory” stated Katie. “It was sweet because I achieved a goal I had set during my freshman year to win four state titles. However it was sad because I knew it was the end of my high school wrestling career.”
“Katie was again very dominating in her performance,” stated her father/coach Brian Germain of Summerlin Judo and Wrestling in Bartow. “With the help of her high school coach Jestin Bailey she has really developed into quite a strong grappler. Four straight state titles along with a national freestyle title this past summer; she is really making a mark for herself.”
Katie is currently fielding offers from three colleges.
“She’s definitely looking forward to moving on to the next level. It’s just a question of where now,” Coach Germain said.
Lyanette Pillot, a senior at Haines City High, fell just short of a second state title. Pillot took second at 152 pounds.
Pillot looked very strong leading up to the finals. Her grinding and tenacious style of wrestling in the first three rounds earn her a trip to her second consecutive state finals. However in the finals her five-week rehab for a broken toe began to show. Pillot was not able to take control of the match as accustomed to. A last second scramble off a take-down attempt almost gave Pillot a come from behind victory but she fell just short.
Makayla Groth, a sophomore at Auburndale High, improved on her fifth-place finish last year to take third this year at l06 pounds.
Makayla looked extremely strong starting with three consecutive pins. However in the semi-finals a controversial call left Makayla just short of making it to her first state finals.
“Makayla is an exciting wrestler to watch,” said Germain. “Her coaches Gilbert Jones, Vince Parker, and Brian Hartley have done an excellent job in developing her technical skills and mat presence. Combine that with her fighting spirit and I can see Makayla definitely becoming a state champion and continuing on to wrestle in college. I know her coaches really support her and will see to that.”
Leiriani Fontanez, a sophomore at Ridge Community High, showed a great deal of promise in her first year of wrestling taking sixth at 120 pounds.
Fontanez started fast and strong winning her first three matches before dropping the next two.
Unfortunately she was not allowed to compete for the fifth-place spot, having reached the maximum five match daily cap, and was force to settle for sixth.
“Leiriani still did an outstanding job as a first year wrestler,” said her coach Henry Haake.
There were 167 total girls entered for this event. “That is a 20 percent increase over the past couple years,” Germain said. “It just goes to show you how women’s wrestling continues to grow across Florida and the rest of the country. These girls are tough and many are becoming legitimate wrestlers who I expect you will see wrestling in college someday and maybe even on a national team.”