Local wrestler crowned state champ as REWA gets set for youth tournament

Submitted photos – Arcata’s Taylor Bell was crowed state champion over the weekend.

It was a good weekend for three local youth wrestlers at the USA Wrestling California folkstyle state championships, including 11-year-old Taylor Bell who was crowned state champion at 85 pounds.

The Institute of Combat wrestlers traveled to Fresno for the big tournament and all three placed in their divisions.

Bell, who was competing in the Novice Girls bracket, won all three of her matches with a pin on her way to the championship and also placed fifth in the boys 82-pound division.

Her teammates Alijah Robinette and Catelya Robinette each also enjoyed a successful tournament.

Alijah placed fourth in the 43-pound bantamweight division, and his sister Catelya was seventh in the girls 60-pound intermediate division.

“They did really good,” their head coach Cass Bell said of the hard-working trio. “They did way better than I expected.”

Taylor Bell, daughter of Cass, wrestled up a weight class with the goal of winning a state triple crown of titles in folkstyle, freestyle and greco.

In order to be eligible for the triple crown, a wrestler must compete in the same division at all three state championship tournaments, and the young Arcata grappler could very well grow before the final event in June, so she wrestled up this past weekend.

“Folkstyle is the toughest of the three, so to win that was pretty huge,” Cass Bell said. “Taylor wants that triple crown.”

Here on the North Coast, meanwhile, the Redwood Empire Wrestling Association will host its first youth tournament of the season at Arcata High on Saturday.

The season was supposed to get under way this past weekend, but the weather forced the cancelation of the opening tournament, which was scheduled to be hosted by the Klamath Trinity Wrestling Club.

The local youth wrestling season includes tournaments on six of the next seven weekends.

Saturday’s tournament is expected to attract more than 300 youth grapplers aged 4-18.

Catelya Robinette in action in Fresno over the weekend.

Alijah Robinette in action at the state championships.

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