DENVER – From the time that boys wrestling was sanctioned in Colorado in 1936, it took 23 years for a four-time state champion to be crowned.

It turns out the girls in Colorado are a little more impatient.

In just the fourth year as a CHSAA sport the crowd at Ball Arena was able to give a girls wrestler a standing ovation as a four-time state champ.

In fact, the spectators got to do it twice.

Pomona’s Persaeus Gomez and Calhan’s Ciara Monger cemented themselves in high school sports history by completing their journey that began in a mostly empty Southwest Motors Event Center in Pueblo. From COVID recovery, the overall growth of the sport and the historical moment that will now live on at every state tournament from here on out, everyone has come a long way.

“My main excitement about winning four was for the history of the girls and showing the younger generation that they can do this,” Monger said. “It’s going to be hard, but as long as you keep pushing through, you can do it.”

Winning a fourth title for either of them is certainly an accolade that will carry on forever, but their season-long performances are almost worthy of celebration themselves. Both wrestlers finished the year without dropping a single match.

And their state tournaments were every bit as dominant as their records coming in.

Gomez got her run in the 130-pound bracket started by taking down one of Monger’s teammates; pinning Emersen Jack in the second period. Jack was the only wrestler who faced Gomez and survived the first period.

From there it was cruise control.

She pinned Pueblo Central’s Lillianna Lopez in just 34 seconds then moved on to the semifinals where she beat Poudre’s Aubrey First with a pin in 1 minute, 43 seconds. That cleared the way for a championship night where the girls would take center stage.

“I’ve grown a lot since my freshman year,” Gomez said. “Goals, training and everything. The growth in general from everything has been amazing.”

That growth at the high school level was completed less than 90 seconds into her championship match when she pinned Canon City’s Kate Doughty. At that very moment, she etched her name into the Colorado wrestling history book.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I told my dad that after my match. I gave him a hug and said this is pretty cool.”

(Dan Mohrmann/

Monger had a similar run. She made quick work of Widefield’s Rose Casares, pinning her in 1:18. She got Jefferson’s Athalie Mickelson in under a minute and then Poudre’s Mariah Gonzalez under a minute into the second period.

In total, there five four-time champions crown, but Monger’s 3:47 pinfall win over Fort Lupton’s Anastacia Salazar capped the night in the most fitting of ways.

“It’s my last year and this means a lot,” Monger said. “I was really excited to wrestle today and I’m just really overwhelmed by this.”

It took Monger just two hours to match Gomez’s accomplishment, although history will always tie them together. From the first boys four-time champion – Montrose’s Bob Thompson – to the second – Delta/Grand Junction’s Dale Stryker – a span of four years passed.

Again, patience is not a virtue of the record-setting girls.

The team championship stayed in the Jeffco League, but for the first time it was a team other than Chatifeld bringing home the hardware. Pomona matched the effort of the boys and brought home the gold for the team, the first in the program’s history.

Thanks to wins by Gomez, Justice Gutierrez, Timberly Martinez and Desza Munson, the Panthers finished the night with 135.5 points. It’s the most points scored by a girls wrestling team champion in the short history of the sport.

Girls wrestling state champions

  • 100: Justice Gutierrez (Pomona)
  • 105: Rylee Balcazar (Fort Lupton)
  • 110: Isabella Cross (Mesa Ridge)
  • 115: Mia Hargrove (Discovery Canyon)
  • 120: Hayden Newberg (Vista Ridge)
  • 125: Lexie Lopez (Loveland)
  • 130: Persaeus Gomez (Pomona)
  • 135: Timberly Martinez (Pomona)
  • 140: Kacey Walck (North Fork)
  • 145: Sierra Lynne Moskalski (Loveland)
  • 155: Desza Munson (Pomona)
  • 170: Matilda Hruby (Brighton)
  • 190: Gianna Falise (Eaglecrest)
  • 235: Ciara Monger (Calhan)