Allen wins first Girls Division State Wrestling title for Goodrich

By David Fleet
Detroit — On Saturday, Goodrich Junior Ryen Allen, deposited a few tears on the wrestling mat on the floor of Ford Field in Detroit.
At 140 pounds, Allen (7-2) defeated Senior Danni Swihart of Hanover-Horton High School for a Michigan High School Athletic Association state title.
“Yep, I cried this year,” said Allen, who spent the last decade developing her wrestling skills with both Goodrich and Michigan Revolution teams. “Last year in 2022, M-Live stuck a camera in my face crying after my loss in the 2022 State Finals. That motivated me to come back and just work harder this year. I still have that picture.”
In 2022, at 125 pounds Warren Mott High School’s, Sr. Hannah Palise defeated Allen (6-3) in the finals. In 2021 the MHSAA announced the addition of a fifth division of the 2022 individual wrestling state finals that will crown girls state champions at 14 different wight classes. Previously, girls needed to compete against boys in their quest for a MHSAA state title in Division 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Allen won all seven matches against girls this season and 10 JV matches versus boys. “I broke my nose in the Dakota High School meet this season,” said Allen. “I just kept going through the season.”
“Much of my motivation comes from my father Ryan, who died in 2017,” she said. “I trust my training and my coaches Ken Sirignano and Issac Jewell. I was not nervous going into the state match, I know how hard I worked over the season. The crowd at Ford Field made me more nervous than wrestling.”
Following the win, Coach Sirignano, who had announced he was stepping down after 13 years as varsity coach after the season, hugged Allen.
“Coach first reached out to shake hands after the win, but he hugged me,” she said. “That was the first time in 10 years. And my tears were from absolute joy.”
It does not matter what boys or others girls competing, she said.
“Do it for yourself, no one else,” she said. “I thrive on the doubters, not all boys started out good, they have to work just like we do.”
Head Coach Sirignano who has been at Goodrich for 26 years said when he started coaching women just did not wrestle.
“Ryen will always be the first state champion Goodrich has ever had,” he said. “It’s good for the sport and good for women. Over the years some of the toughest wrestlers I’ve ever had have been women.”
Sirignano recalled the 2008-2009 season at Goodrich when the Martians won the team won back-to-back state championships.
“In the line up were CC Weber and Kristy Garr, two wrestlers that set the tone for the future. If not for their skills and effort we would not have won those titles.”

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