Hofrichter Competes at 2022 Women’s Nationals, Just Misses Placement Round
FOR THE ANTIGO TIMES
High school Junior Alexandra Hofrichter made the trip down to Fort Worth, Texas to compete in the U20 division, which consisted of the best athletes under 20 years old in the country. The tournament was a qualifier for the U20 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria as well as the U20 Pan American Championships in Oaxtepec, Mexico.
In the round of 32, Hofrichter matched up with Hayleigh Martz of the Maine Trappers Wrestling Club. Martz, also a high schooler, won the 160-pound state championship in Maine this year. In addition to be a great wrestler, Martz is also a Jiu Jitsu blue belt, and has quite the string of accomplishments in that sport as well.
Hofrichter was aggressive from the start, ripping off a collar tie attempt by Martz into a Russian arm lock and then transitioning from that to a belly to back suplex for the initial takedown with exposure for 4 points 15 seconds into the match.
Hofrichter attempted another body lock off of a snap down attempt by Martz, and then Martz countered with a headthrow. Hofrichter was able to pull her head out on the way down to the mat, but the referees called a slip and awarded no points.
At the 30 second mark of the match, Hofrichter used another Russian arm lock to bait Martz into an underhook, and then proceeded to launch Martz with a lateral, earning another 4 points. Martz was able to scramble off of her back after about a half minute. Hofrichter led 8-0 at this point.
The ending to the match came in a wild flurry, as Martz attempted a hip toss, which Hofrichter countered with a body lock. In the ensuing throw, Hofrichter was able to expose Martz’s back to earn 2 exposure points, while Martz earned a point for ending in a control position. Hofrichter was able to scramble and push Martz out of bounds, earning a pushout point. The score at this point was 11-1, and thus, Hofrichter won via technical fall at 1:53 of the first round.
The victory advanced Hofrichter to the round of 16, where she faced Nina Sandoval of Thorobred Wrestling Club. Sandoval is a 2-time state champion from Arizona, winning at 160 last year and 165 this year. She has also signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the Minto State Beavers this upcoming season. Sandoval was the Arizona Women’s Wrestler of the Year, and was also an All American previously. Sandoval entered as the 16th ranked wrestler at 164 pounds in the most recent USA Wrestling high school rankings.
Sandoval was able to display the skills that led to her accomplishments early on, driving threw on a shot attempt and earning the initial takedown 20 seconds into the match. Once on top, Sandoval was able to jump to a 4-0 lead using a leg lace to earn exposure.
Back on the feet, Sandoval was able to hit a slide by on a collar tie attempt by Hofrichter to shoot an outside single on Hofrichter’s left leg, but Hofrichter was able to whizzer and prevent any scoring from taking place.
Sandoval attempted a fireman’s carry attempt at the midway point, and after a counter attempt by Hofrichter, Sandoval earned a takedown to take a 6-0 lead.
Hofrichter was able to start her comeback in the last minute of the first round, using a whizzer to defend a shot attempt by Sandoval, and then earning a takedown in the scramble that followed with 30 seconds to go. In the last 20 seconds, Hofrichter was able to defend another shot attempt, using a far leg turn to create exposure and tighten the match up to 6-4.
After some brief hand fighting to start the second period, Sandoval once again attempted to shoot in on Hofrichter. Sandoval was able to elevate the single leg of Hofrichter, and earned 4 points for a takedown and exposure. On the way down, Hofrichter was able to secure a front headlock, and when Hofrichter hit the mat, she was able to maintain the grip around Sandoval’s head, slide her hips around the side, and muscle Sandoval to her back. Hofrichter wasn’t going to allow Sandoval off her back, and earning the pinfall victory at 3:40.
With the victory, Hofrichter advanced to the quarter-finals, where she met Alicia Pieper of Michigan. Pieper currently wrestles for Indiana Tech, was a state champion in high school in Michigan, and was also a two-time Fargo all American for the Michigan Revolution.
Pieper was able to use her noticeable size advantage early on, bull rushing Hofrichter and using double underhooks to earn the initial takedown with exposure for 4 points.
Pieper was able to secure double underhooks again, this time at the one-minute mark, and used them to counter a throw attempt by Hofrichter. Pieper earned the victory by pinfall at 1:02.
The loss sent Hofrichter to the consolations, where she faced Haley Ward of Missouri. Ward is currently ranked 3rd in the nation for high schoolers, behind Amit Elor (who not only won the U20 division at US Nationals, but also the U23 division) and Destiny Rodriguez (who won the U20 division at US Nationals at 68 kg). Ward is also a multiple time state champion, a Folkstyle national champion, and also a multiple time All American.
Once the action started, Hofrichter and Ward spent the first minute handfighting and jockeying for position. Hofrichter attempted a throw near the one-minute mark, but Ward was able to counter and nearly get a takedown, but Hofrichter was able to quickly scramble and get ahold of a single leg. Ward eventually got her leg free, earning the takedown 64 seconds into the match. Ward was able to control a leg on top, and used a barbwire turn to earn exposure points. Hofrichter did a great job of not giving up any additional points, and they were stood back up at the middle of the period.
After another extended series of handfighting, Ward reaches for an underhook and Hofrichter attempted an armspin. Ward was able to counter the arm spin, and after a brief scramble on the mat, Ward earned the takedown, taking a 6-0 lead into the break.
The second round started with more intense handfighting, as each wrestler tried to gain a positional advantage. 50 seconds into the second round, Ward was able to counter a lateral attempt by Hofrichter for a takedown, giving ward an 8-0 lead.
As time was winding down in the second period, Hofrichter picked up the pace and tried to force Ward into poor positions, but Ward was doing a great job of maintaining posture. With 44 seconds remaining, Ward was able to earn a push out point.
With a half minute remaining, Hofrichter attempted a double leg, but Ward was able to counter and earn the takedown and technical fall victory at 5:36.
The 72 kg champion at U20 was the before-mentioned Amit Elor, who techfalled Latifah McBryde twice in the best of 3 finals. Haley Ward was able to continue winning in the consolations, and finished in third place. Alicia Pieper finished in 4th place.
Hofrichter finished in the final 12, one match way from All American status. Hofrichter will join other members of the Antigo Wrestling Club next weekend competing at the Norther Plains Championships, a qualify for Fargo Nationals in July.
The rest of the Antigo Wrestling Club Greco and Freestyle team competed at the WWF State Championships in Wisconsin Dells this past weekend.