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South Jordan Journal

Bingham girls wrestling ready to grapple for a chance at state

Feb 07, 2022 03:03PM ● By Brian Shaw

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

Across the state, high school girls can now grapple her way to a state championship too, thanks to the Utah High School Activities Association decision in 2021 to sanction girls wrestling. Girls no longer need to wrestle on boys teams in Utah. 

Bingham High School has taken advantage of the new ruling, and now has two all-star wrestlers to brag about as well. 

Mailien Tran has been a machine on the mat. The 105-pounder currently has an 11-1 record, her only blemish coming at the All-Star Duals at which she lost to Tenley Jones of Morgan by fall at 2:38. Tran was one of two Bingham representatives on the Class 6A all-star team. 

The other Miner on the 6A all-star team was Mikaylee Stitcher. The 190-pound senior, who has a 9-4 record at press time, lost by fall to Canyon View’s Talisa Matakaiongo three minutes and 31 seconds into the match. 

The Miners have had a number of other very successful girls wrestlers this year. Angela Van Valkenburg currently has an 11-3 record going into February while Alexis Smith is 10-4 overall. 

Bingham is currently ranked eighth in Class 6A—good enough to place the Miners in Division A as they get ready for the Utah State Championships Feb. 18-19 at Utah Valley University in Orem. 

First up for the Miners, however, is the Division Tournament Feb. 4-5 at Westlake High School.

Smith finished fourth in the 136-pound category at last year’s state championships while Van Valkenburg is a returning bronze medalist at 140. 

Stitcher, however, will be moving up to 190 from the 170-pound category she competed in at state last year—where she finished fourth. Meanwhile, Tran may have the opportunity to appear in her first state championships depending on how she and her teammates do at the upcoming Division Tournament.  

Across the country 32 states have now sanctioned girls wrestling, however, this trend has only occurred very recently. 

As of 2018, however, only six states had: Hawaii was the first in 1998 and Texas followed suit in 1999. It wouldn’t be until 2007 that another state sanctioned girls wrestling, when Washington did. California became the fourth state to do so in 2011, and Alaska and Tennessee were the fifth and sixth states in 2014.