Foran’s Kelly Asparas wins wrestling title at Girls State Tournament

Kelly Asparas won the title at 138 pounds at the CIAC Girls State Championship Tournament.

Kelly Asparas won the title at 138 pounds at the CIAC Girls State Championship Tournament.

Foran High Athletics / Contributed photo

Kelly Asparas from Foran swept through the 138-pound class to earn the title at the CIAC Girls State Championship Tournament at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Sunday.

“I’ve been waiting for this chance all year,” she said. “Coach told me to do what I know. He said I worked for this.”

Asparas lived up to her No. 1 seed. A sophomore, she won a 15-3 major decision over No. 2 seed Araya Guilmette from Bristol Central in her first match. Killingly’s Renee Bunn fell in 16 seconds in the semifinal. Asparas pinned No. 4 seed Brooke Arnold from Wethersfield in 3:53 in the final.

“I met tons of girls,” she said. “We have a group messaging text chat we started in the middle of the year. It was great to be together. We get along, it is a supportive community.”

Foran coach Dave Esposito recognized her potential early.

“Two years ago, they canceled the wrestling season. We were allowed to do some conditioning. Kelly came to these conditioning sessions. She was a freshman who had never stepped on a wrestling mat or even knew the rules,” he said.

“I told (assistant) coach (Noel) Luth that Kelly would be a state champion. She was the toughest kid in the room, and she got more joy out of wrestling and competing than anyone else in the room. When you have those three things, any wrestling coach in America can build that athlete into a state champion.”

Amity was crowned the first ever girls state champion in Connecticut. This year’s girls’ tournament was the first one sanctioned by the CIAC. The inaugural girls state tournament individual results in 2020 will be reflected in the CIAC record books, but no team was crowned a champion.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354