Youngsville's McKenzie Hodak. Photo submitted.

Youngsville’s Hodak a Finalist at Northeast Regional Championships

May 12, 2024

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Youngsville’s McKenzie Hodak was a finalist at the Phil Portuese Northeast Regional Championships this weekend.

Hodak, representing the Bad Karma wrestling club and wrestling in the Girls 14U 90 pound weight class, dropped her first match, then rebounded with a late pinfall to earn her spot as a finalist.

The annual tournament is put on by USA Wrestling and regularly attracts top talent from across the northeast section of the US. Wrestlers who place in the top six within the 16U and 18U brackets automatically qualify for the Freestyle and Greco Roman National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota.

Hodak was coming off a 5-3 performance at the Ultimate Club Duals in Harrisburg. Hodak opened her tournament with a bye in the first round. She then squared off with two-time PA girls state champion Brooklyn Henry of Gettysburg. Henry picked up an early four point move and followed it up with two additional points before scoring the fall.

The sixth grader rebounded in a wild match with former girls freestyle state finalist Carly Jox. Hodak found herself behind 5-4 at the 30-second intermission between the first and second period. She came out of the break hot and scored two points early in the second period. She gave up a reversal, but was able to mitigate the damage and not surrender additional points before being reset to the neutral position.

With the scored knotted at 6-6, Jox picked up another two points, but was unable to score any additional points. Hodak scored two of her own with 34 seconds left to tie the score once again. She then scored a takedown and two exposure points with 18 seconds left before securing the fall at 3:46.

So far this spring, Hodak has placed first at the Clarion and Bishop McCort Freestyle State Qualifier Tournaments, second at the Edinboro Freestyle State Qualifier, and fifth at the Bethel Park Freestyle State Qualifier. Hodak also posted three technical falls, a pin and a win by forfeit while wrestling for team PA West at the Ultimate Club Duals in Harrisburg last weekend.

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