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Siblings from Lynbrook shining on the wrestling mat

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Liam and Ally Fitzgerald have continued to make an impact on the wrestling mat, even after the school season ended for Lynbrook.

Ally recently made history by winning the inaugural Girls High School Division tournament at the 30th annual National High School Coaches Association Nationals in Virginia Beach. It was the first time in the history of the tournament that there was a girls’ division.

“I felt both relieved and happy all my hard work and dedication paid off,” Ally said. “I have always attributed my success in wrestling to my coaches.”

Ally, 16, is going into her junior year at Lynbrook High School. And in 2017, she became the first female in history to win a title at a sanctioned wresting tournament on Long Island.

She lauded Hilary Becker of the Lynbrook Titans Wrestling Program for supporting her and providing her an opportunity to thrive in the sport that she loves. She also praised Sensei Nardu Debrah of Budokan Martial Arts in Lynbrook for “giving me a foundation in grappling and some of the best memories of my life.” She said Debrah taught her about hard work, dedicaion and perseverance.

Liam recently took first place for the 97 pound weight class division at the 2019 New York USA Wrestling Youth State Championships. “It feels really great to win,” Liam said, “and I attribute my success to my coaches pushing me and training with great partners.”

Liam, 13, is going into his freshman year at the high school.

Ally said the most difficult aspect of winning her tournament was adapting her style each round to counter her opponents. She described the event as “one of the most difficult and prestigious national wrestling tournaments.” Ally wrestled five matches before making it to the final round and becoming the first female winner in the event’s history. She competed at 122 pounds and there were more than 20 girls in her bracket and over 2,000 competitors — male and female — at the event.

She said her future aspirations were to continue wrestling in college and that she hoped to represent the U.S. at the Olympics one day.

Liam said his daily training was the most difficult aspect of the tournament because he went up against wrestlers he previously lost to in state qualifying matches. He went on to notch four victories en route to first place.

“My aspirations in the future are to wrestle in high school on varsity with my sister,” he said, “and to receive a scholarship to wrestle in college.”

Becker said he was impressed to see their success. “It’s so great to see Ally and Liam continue to shine in their wresting careers even after the season is over,” he said. “This kind of dedication is rare and we’re extremely proud of them. I’m sure they will have more accolades to come in the sport of wrestling, and we are excited to see what the future holds for them.”