SPORTS – “Bear River's Hailey Branch tops the podium in wrestling"

BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Cari Doutre – January 9, 2021

Hailey Branch, Jan. 2, 2021 - Courtesy photo

With one tournament and a region dual meet behind their belts, Bear River High School’s first ever girls’ wrestling team is officially on their way and making history too.

Practices for the 2020-21 season started in November 2020 but the start of the competition season on the mat was held on Saturday, Jan. 2, at the Lady Pirates Invitational at Cyprus High School in Magna.

For many of those on the Bear River wrestlers in this inaugural year, this tournament was the first time competing on the wrestling mat. For junior Hailey Branch, however, she has a couple of years of competitive wrestling behind her, which gave her an advantage in the Bears’ first competition of the season.

Branch took second place in the 124-pound weight division losing only once in the finals to her Westlake High opponent going 2-1 overall at the tournament. Check out her "Headliner Athlete of the Week" honor at BRVNEWS.com HERE.

Freshman Samara Ward, 115, went 4-1 overall and took third place individually at her first high school wrestling competition.

The Lady Bears took fifth place overall.

“I was excited,” said Jason Bingham, head coach for the Bear River High girls’ wrestling team about the team’s first tournament. “I feel really good about where the team is and with the girls’ excitement level.”

Following up their trip to Cyprus High, the Bears traveled to Ridgeline High School on Jan. 6, where they face their Region 11 competition for this first time this season. Results are currently unavailable.

The week didn’t end there for the Bears.

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On Saturday, Jan. 9, a trip to Ogden High School for the Battle of the Amazonians featured some of the best of high school girls’ wrestlers in Utah. In their second tournament of the season, the Bears put four wrestlers on the podium by the time it was all over.

Tassie Hatch, a sophomore at Bear River, took third overall at 120 defeating Grace Borchardt from Pleasant Grove High in her final match of the tournament.

Branch took her spot once again on the podium taking fourth place individually at 124. Junior Haylee Farnsworth also took fourth place at the tournament at 170 while junior Shanna Archuleta finished in sixth place at 245.

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Hailey Branch, Tassie Hatch and Haylee Farnsworth, Jan. 9, 2021 - Photo courtesy of BRHS

Bear River finished in eighth place overall with 75 points. Mountain Crest High, Copper Hills High and Fremont High School took the top three spots in team points.

Next up for the Bear River girls’ wrestling team is there first home meet of the season. They will host all Region 11 teams on Wednesday, Jan. 13, starting at 6 p.m.

Photo courtesy of BRHS



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