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Lake Gibson's Gabby Tedesco wins national wrestling title

Rising senior captures Junior 100-pound Division Freestyle Crown in Fargo, North Dakota
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LAKELAND, FLORIDA – It appears Gabby Tedesco doesn’t like to take her foot off the gas.

The Lake Gibson rising-senior won the girls Junior 100-pound Division freestyle wrestling national title Saturday at the U.S. Marines Junior National Wrestling Championships in Fargo, North Dakota, and was found right back in the practice room working out two days later.

Tedesco became the first girl from Polk County to win a national wrestling title and the second overall. A year ago, Brendon Abdon, a former Lake Gibson wrestler now at Arkansas Little Rock, won the 160-pound boys title.

“All the best wrestlers just take a little time to recover and then they are right back in,” said Tedesco, just a third-year wrestler. “I took a day to recover and then came back in. Next year, I want to be at the world trials. World is next.”

Tedesco posted a 5-0 record in the 64-wrestler bracket, shutting out Valarie Solorio from Pennsylvania 11-0 in the final while picking up a tech fall after a takedown in the second period.

“Winning a national title never crossed my mind. I just wanted to be as good as the girls I was watching. I thought I was capable of going out and making a name for myself but I never believed that I could actually do it,” she said.

It was sweet revenge for Tedesco, who was pinned in the first round by Solorio a year earlier in the 105-pound state championship match when Solorio was wrestling in Florida at Mosley. Tedesco was 0-2 lifetime against Solorio entering the national championship match.

“This time I had a different mindset than I had at state. I knew I had trained really hard and I knew the match could go either way,” Tedesco said. “I had a lot of pressure in the match and I felt like I was the aggressor. I knew she had the ability to come back so I had to just keep pouring on the gas.”

Tedesco noted Solorio is an excellent tactical and defensive wrestler, so she was mindful not to make a critical mistake with her shots. And reviewing Solorio’s recent matches basically worthless even though it was done.

“She wrestles me completely different than anyone else. She wrestled me the same way she wrestled me in the state championship match. I was watching , but she wrestled me completely different,” Tedesco said. “I had to make sure I wasn’t shooting bad shots. I knew she would capitalize on all my mistakes.

Her coach, Briana Kellin, fresh out of college, was a four-time state champion at Lake Gibson. Kellin said two-a-day practices with extra cardio workouts were invoked in preparation of the national tournament. Also, a lot of attention was focused on technique, sweeps and takedowns.

“It was great to be by her side. I was crying after the win,” Kellin said, “She was very composed in her finals match. I told her, ‘If there is any day you can beat (Solorio), that day is today.’ It just all came together after having a couple of tough matches before the final.”

To qualify, Tedesco captured the freestyle state championship in May at the Tampa Convention Center. Last year, Tedesco finished fifth at the Fargo Nationals to capture All-America status.

Tedesco also won the FHSAA 106-pound state title in March as well as capturing the Kissimmee Osceola Knockout Classic 105-pound champion in December – considered one of the toughest invitational tournaments in the Southeast.