Oceanside’s Maddie Ripley, top, holds down Belfast’s Ryker Evans in the 113 pound semifinals at the Class B wrestling state championships in Bath. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

BATH — Maddie Ripley fell just short of making history at the Class B state wrestling championships Saturday at Morse High School.

Ripley, a sophomore at Oceanside High, was trying to become first girl in Maine to win an individual state title while wrestling against boys. She advanced to the finals on Saturday before losing to Mattanawcook Academy’s Deegan Tidswell on a first-period pin.

Mattanawcook went on to capture its first wrestling state championship. Wells finished second and York was third. Sam Schmitt of Winslow was named Outstanding Wrestler of the meet.

Ripley, wrestling in the 113-pound weight class, beat Chase Lunetta of Wells in the quarterfinals and Ryker Evans of Belfast in the semifinals to reach the finals. Her win over Evans came via pin in the second period.

An official holds up the arm of Oceanside’s Maddie Ripley after she beat Belfast’s Ryker Evans in the 113 pound semifinals at the Class B wrestling state championships in Bath on Saturday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“She had a great day, it’s really tough,” said Oceanside Coach Jason Yates, who is Ripley’s stepfather. “Unfortunately, (female wrestlers) get a lot of pressure, and I know people meant well congratulating her before, ‘Hey, you’re going to make history, you’re going to be the first girl (state champion).’

“Unfortunately, I think that comes with a lot of pressure that boys don’t have to deal with. It’s tough, she’s taking it tough, she feels like she let a lot of people down, when really, she had a great year. I hope she’s an inspiration to other girl wrestlers that they can look up to.”


Ripley has a record of 34-2, with her only other loss of the season coming to Wynn Pooler of Erskine Academy. Pooler won a Class B state title on Saturday while wrestling at 106 pounds.

Last weekend, Ripley became the fifth girl in Maine history to win a regional championship. The most recent time that happened was in 2018, when Oak Hill’s Zoe Buteau won the 120 pound title in Class B South. On Feb. 5, Ripley became the first female Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference champion.

Before Ripley’s performance on Saturday, other two other girls had advanced to the championship finals. Deanna Rix of Marshwood High lost 2-1 to Sanford’s Shane Leadbetter in the 130-pound final in Class A in 2005. Had Rix won, she would have been the first female state champion in the country. That milestone was reached a year later by Michaela Hutchinson of Alaska.

In 2011, Kayleigh Longley of Noble High also reached the finals of the 103-pound division at the Class A state meet.

Mattanawcook Academy’s Deegan Tidswell, top, beat Oceanside’s Maddie Ripley in the 113-pound final at the Class B wrestling state championships Saturday at Morse High in Bath. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Ripley’s brother, Gavin, won the Class B state championship Saturday at 126 pounds by pinning Keith Cook of Maine Central Institute in the second period.

Other individual champions included Cole Albert of Mattanawcook at 120 pounds, Griffin Brickett of Wells at 132, Schmitt at 138, Jayden Lafrenaye of Lincoln Academy at 145, Lucas Libby of Mountain Valley at 152, Joe Neal of York at 160, Jackson Sutherland of Mattanawcook at 170, Isaac Hainer of Mattanawcook at 182, Job Fox of Fryeburg Academy at 195, Jaxon Gross of Bucksport at 220 and Will Orso of York at 285.

UPDATE: This story was updated at 10:02 a.m. on Feb. 20 to show that Maddie Ripley is the third girl in Maine high school wrestling history to advance to the finals of a state championship.

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