Simone Straus ’21 became only the seventh Hotchkiss student to earn All-American recognition in wrestling by finishing fourth at this past weekend’s Prep National Wrestling Tournament.
In the process, Straus also helped to make history by participating in the first-ever girls’ bracket at the event. Wrestling in the 130-pound weight class, Straus dropped her first match but wrestled back with two straight wins to reach the consolation finals.
“Few wrestlers in our school's history have shown the self-discipline, conviction, and humility required to achieve what she has this season, culminating in her success this past weekend,” said head coach Cooper Puls in an announcement to the Hotchkiss community.
The weekend began with a difficult matchup for Straus, and she dropped a 9-3 decision to Marcella Leonard-Jackson from Collegiate School. Undaunted, Straus pinned her first opponent in the consolation bracket, Celle Reser from Germantown Friends in only 2:29.
Straus followed up her pin with a gritty 3-0 victory in the consolation semi-finals. The match went scoreless through two periods, and Straus earned the clinching points late in the third period with a reversal at 0:45.
The two victories earned Straus a third-place match against a very difficult opponent, Cara Nugent from Governor’s Academy. Although Nugent had also lost her first-round match, she followed up the result with three dominant wins (7-0, 4-0, and 7-4). Nugent unfortunately proved too strong in the last match, pinning Straus at 2:24 in the second period.
The tournament features the top independent school wrestlers from around the country, and this year’s edition was the first to include a separate division entirely for female wrestlers. Straus is the first Hotchkiss All-American in wrestling since Nick Carola ’16 in 2016.