If you Google “Jasmin Daly wrestling” and click on the fourth link down the list, you will see the 12-year-old Oregon resident make state history.
Daly, a sixth-grader at St. Kateri Catholic Academy, took first place in the Division IV 120-pound weight class on March 16 at the two-day Ohio Athletic Committee Grade School State Wrestling Championships at the Covelli Center in Youngstown.
She became the first female in the tournament’s 15-year history to win a state title.
|Jasmin Daly at the top of the state wrestling tournament podium.|
“For her to be the first female to win at states is pretty big,” said Jasmin’s proud mother, Melissa Morales, whose two other children, Nick, 13, and Mikey, 10, also wrestle. “Honestly, I am proud of all three of my kids and their accomplishments, but this was the best. Words can’t describe it. I’m still dumbfounded by it. She’s a cute girl, but she’s a tomgirl. When it comes time to wrestle, she’s not a girl anymore.”
Jasmin, who has been wrestling in Oregon since age 4, trailed 7-6 in the third period of the state championship match but came back to pin her opponent, sixth-grader Drew Wiechers, at the 4:12 mark of the third period.
When the referee raised her hand, she looked happy, tired and relieved all at the same time.
“I was shocked,” Daly said. “I was just, like, happy at the same time. I was surprised. He was really tough. I think I did pretty good. I got tired a couple times, but my friend Ryanne (Cobb) kept talking to me and built up my confidence. She kept me in it. When I would get mad or something, she would always be there for me.”
Daly said placing sixth at last year’s OAC state tournament gave her a lot of confidence this year. She won four matches by pin, and another opponent, a male, forfeited in the quarterfinals.
“After I placed sixth last year I was hoping I would place higher,” Daly said. “I had a feeling I was going to take first. I had a feeling I was going to do well, and I did.”
Chris Kamelesky, who is in his second year as the coach of the Junior Cardinals Wrestling Club, said Daly is a competitor who loves the sport of wrestling.
“This was a rough year for her,” Kamelesky said. “She’s starting to mature and develop as a young lady. At school, it hasn’t been easy for her to be in a ‘man’s’ sport. She has improved in the practice room a lot this year, and her drill partner, Kyle Miller, pushes her when it comes to practice time. She was really a one-dimensional wrestler last year, so I told her some things she needed to work on.
“She knows a lot about wrestling. She comes from a tough family, with great parents (her father is Mike Daly). She’s been around it nine years and knows what’s going on. We try to have a tough (practice) room, a tough mindset for all the wrestlers, and I believe she’s buying into that and believing that.”
More than a week after winning a state title, you still get the feeling from Daly that her performance in Youngstown still hasn’t sunk in yet. She said she plans to wrestle in high school.
“I was hoping I was going to win,” she said. “After my first match I kept telling myself I was going to win, and Ryanne said I was going to win. I ended up pinning everybody. The boys are getting stronger and I don’t feel I’m as strong as them. The conditioning and hard work paid off.”
Jasmin Daly at the top of the state wrestling tournament podium.