Women’s Wrestling Team competes in Florida Girl’s State Wrestling Tournament

L-R: Angela LoRusso ’19, Madison Moore ’21, Jenna Willard ’20, Riley Lancaster ’27, Grace Vernine ’24

The Admiral Farragut Academy Women’s Wrestling Team competed in the final tournament of the year this past Friday and Saturday called the Florida Girl’s State Wrestling Tournament. This year’s tournament saw over 300 girls competing across 14 weight classes. These numbers consistently put Florida at the top in the nation for participation and competition in women’s wrestling. “The competitiveness and caliber of wrestling continues to grow as this was by far the toughest field of competitors so far,” said Head Coach Tony LoRusso.

The tournament started with a surprise visit and guest coaching by AFA Women’s wrestling team alumna Angela LoRusso ’19, a former Girl’s State placer and current collegiate wrestler at Adrian College. Riley Lancaster ’26 and Madison Moore ’21 competed in the 106-lbs weight class, Jenna Willard ’20 competed at 128 lbs, and Grace Vernine ’24 competed at 154 lbs.

“As the team has done all season, our ladies continued to exceed expectations with a record three of the four girls qualifying for the second day of competition,” said Coach LoRusso.

Madison, Jenna, and Grace were just within grasp of earning a state medal, which is only awarded to the top 6 of each weight class. Although none of the girls were able to make the medal rounds, they continued to compete fiercely in day two, all securing wins against tough opponents. As a team, Admiral Farragut Academy was able to place 40th out of 117 schools represented.

Some other notable achievements from the season, Jenna Willard (12-10) and Madison Moore (15-10) both finished the season with winning records, their best career records. Madison Moore also placed top 4 at four tournaments this season and was state ranked in the January Orlando Sentinal coaches poll. Grace Vernine finished the season with eight wins, which is unheard of for a first-year wrestler. And Riley Lancaster finished the season with 3 wins, which may not seem as impressive until you factor in that Riley is not only a first-year wrestler but also a 6th grader whose wins all came against high school age competition.

This concludes the school season for our Women’s Wrestling Team; however, all four of our girls and several girls from around the bay area have committed to the newly formed women’s wrestling club at Admiral Farragut Academy. This will be the first club of its kind in Tampa Bay focusing solely on women’s wrestling. Coach LoRusso will be posting information regarding this club soon and all girls ages 6th-12th grade are welcome.

Congratulations ladies on another record-breaking season!

Additional photos can be found at https://farragut.smugmug.com/Athletics/Wrestling/Wrestling-2019-2020/Girls-State-Tournament/