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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Brent Makes History: First Girls’ Wrestler in Program History to Advance to State

Mikayla Brent, junior, far left, stands atop the podium at the Southern Section Masters Meet at Palm Springs High School on Feb. 17. Brent won four of five matches in the 120-pound division and advanced to the 2024 CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield. (Courtesy of Mikayla Brent)

History was made in the desert expanse of Palm Springs on Feb. 17 as Mikayla Brent, junior, won four of five matches in the 120-pound division of the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet to advance to the state tournament, the first BOHS girls’ wrestler in program history to qualify for the event.

32 girls’ wrestlers divided into two 16-wrestler brackets competed in Brent’s weight class at Masters, held at Palm Springs High School. The top four athletes from each bracket would advance to the state tournament.

“Pretty much everybody who was there was really, really good,” Brent said of her competition.

To qualify outright for the state championships, Brent would have to win her first three matches. 

After winning her first match, Brent faced CIF champion Aubrey Hernandez, junior at Colony High School, and won the quarterfinal contest, 4-2. 

“[Mikayla] was very impressive in the second match, and [she] is getting so much better,” Feargus McTeggart, wrestling head coach, said. McTeggart, who has been coaching Brent since her freshman year, and at BOHS for 32 years, attributes the progress to leveraging her height — Brent is 5’10” — and finding a style that matches her.

However, in the semifinals, Brent lost to West Covina’s Juelz Taylor, senior, dropping the Wildcat into the consolation bracket. 

“[Brent’s] semifinals match was a really tough one. If she had another minute, I think she would have figured it out and punched her ticket into the finals. I remember she was going in [match four] feeling pretty confident, and I was definitely confident in her ability to do it as well,” Brian Schleuter, history teacher and wrestling coach, said.

My coaches were jumping up and down on the sideline. I ran and gave them a hug. It was so fun.

— Mikayla Brent, junior

At stake in Brent’s fourth match in the consolation bracket: a shot at the state tournament. 

In the first two periods of the consolation match against senior Katheryn Castro-Navarro of Montclair, “the match did not start the way she wanted,” Schleuter said. However, after taking the lead, 8-7, with a reversal in period three with less than ten seconds remaining, Brent blocked her opponent’s reversal attempt and pinned Castro-Navarro, securing her a spot in the finals.

“My coaches were jumping up and down on the sideline. I ran and gave them a hug. It was so fun,” said Brent of the history-making match.  

“That was one of the most exciting moments that I’ve had in a long while in coaching. That was the moment when it all came to fruition,” Schleuter said.

California and New Jersey are the only two states in the country that have one true state champion in each weight class without big-versus-small school distinctions.

Brent said, “I’m surprised I even made it because our section of Masters is supposed to be the hardest in California.” 

Brent’s quest for a state title begins Thursday, Feb. 22, at 9 a.m. at Mechanics Bank Arena, Bakersfield. The junior’s first match is against senior Kayla Vasquez of Monroe High School, who won first place at the L.A. City Section Boys and Girls Masters on Feb. 10.  

“I really think she’s got an incredible shot this weekend at the state championship. She’s wrestling better and better and better,” Schleuter said.

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Ellen Kim
Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Ellen Kim, senior, has been a member of the newspaper staff since her freshman year and is excited to lead the staff as Editor-in-Chief. Alongside her leadership in the Wildcat, Ellen is involved in ASB as Senior Class President and can be spotted in many clubs and organizations across campus including HOSA, Mubotics, Orchestra, and FTOC. Outside of school, Ellen can be found learning the ukulele, listening to her favorite pop tunes, or playing a competitive round of Uno. Ellen has published over 35 pieces for the Wildcat and is thrilled to create lots more during her final year at BOHS.
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  • CatherineMar 1, 2024 at 8:44 am

    Congratulations Mikayla! You worked so hard to achieve this accomplishment. It’s an impressive, remarkable and well- deserved successful achievement. Congrats again!

  • Rogers BrentFeb 28, 2024 at 8:35 pm

    I could not be more proud! Clearly your hard work and dedication is paying off. Phenomenal!!!
    With love and administration,
    Uncle Rod

  • LARRIEFeb 28, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    That is Great, congratulations to my neice. That is a awesome accomplishment. Sending Love.

  • Mike B.Feb 28, 2024 at 8:03 am

    I am very proud of you Mikayla. This is awesome! Looking forward to seeing what is next! You are a very special BOHS Junior.