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Skylar Connelly puts the squeeze on Joli Beston of Wolf Point in the 132-lb. championship match Saturday in Billings. Connelly won by fall in 2:13.

Panther senior wrestler Skylar Connelly made history last weekend as she became the first ever Montana State Girls Wrestling Champion at 132 pounds. Connelly finished the season with a 12-3 record and pinned all four of her opponents last weekend in Billings on her way to the top of the podium.

“It was a super exciting weekend,” recounted Connelly. “I hadn’t seen anyone in my bracket except maybe two girls, so I didn’t really know what I was going into.  After winning my first match I knew I was going to win state. All year I have been saying this is my one chance so I have to do it.” 

This is Connelly’s first year competing but she has  been wrestling for about a year or more. “I have also been around it my entire life,” she said.

In her opening round Connelly pinned Ryleigh Warner of Anaconda in 2:15. Connelly needed just 26 seconds in the quarterfinals to pin Paige Gershmel of Billings Senior. In the semifinal round Connelly spent even less time on the mat as she pinned Ryley Hofeldt of Chinook in 15 seconds. In the title match Connelly pinned Wolf Point’s Joli Beston in 2:13. 

Connelly credits her brothers and dad as her main influences in pursuing her high school athletic career. She was coached this year by coaches Joe Monroe and Isaac Ramos. “I definitely couldn’t have done it without them,” she shared.

There were 148 girls competing at the first All-Class State Championship meet held at Lockwood High School in Billings. On her way to the title Connelly matched up with a grappler from each class AA, A, B and C with each match yielding the same result.

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