Redmond High’s Molly Williams notched the girls 115-pound state wrestling title on Feb. 22 at the Tacoma Dome. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Redmond High’s Molly Williams notched the girls 115-pound state wrestling title on Feb. 22 at the Tacoma Dome. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Finally a state first for Redmond’s Williams

Mustang senior snags 12-1 win for her first state title.

Two notches up the ladder each year finally resulted in a state championship for Redmond High’s Molly Williams.

The thrilled wrestler leapt into the arms of her coaches and unleashed a beaming smile after all was said and done.

With a dominant 12-1 victory over Iyazely Barraza of Othello in the 115-pound girls division, the Mustang senior notched the state title on Feb. 22 at the Tacoma Dome. Williams completed her season with a 41-1 record and finished her Redmond career with a 142-20 mark.

Williams — who finished seventh as a freshman, fifth as a sophomore and third as a junior — defeated Barraza three times this season. The final meeting was the most exhilarating one of the bunch in front of a packed Tacoma Dome at Mat Classic XXXII.

“It’s awesome, I’ve been waiting so long to be state champ,” Williams said. “My freshman year, I remember coming here and being so overwhelmed and thought this was the coolest place ever. And I knew I really wanted to win it.”

Added Redmond head coach Bob Kaneko: “She worked so hard. Nobody worked harder, nobody put in more time or more effort. She just flat-out earned it. There were definitely some nerves, but she was confident, she knew she was ready for this.”

She is Redmond’s first girls state champion.

Mustang Molly Williams battles with Othello’s Iyazely Barraza in the title match. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Mustang Molly Williams battles with Othello’s Iyazely Barraza in the title match. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Williams advanced to the championship match after toughing it out with a 6-4 semifinal win over Shelby Moore of White River. The Mustang opened the tournament by quickly dispatching Kylee Heaston of Capital with a 23-second fall, and then beat Bianca Johnson of Moses Lake with a fall in 1:38.

It turns out that Williams’ sister had a plan on the table for her to move up two places each year at state and finish at the top as a senior.

“I told her I hated that plan, because I wanted to be a state champ multiple times,” said Williams, who noted with a laugh that her sister said the plan was on target after the wrestler was crushed after losing in the semifinals last season. “Yeah, I followed (her) plan.”

To prepare for her senior year, Williams grinded it out on the wrestling mat with her Chain Wrestling club, the Washington girls dual team in Oklahoma, at nationals in North Dakota and much more.

“A whole lot of wrestling,” said Williams, who planned to celebrate her state title with her team that night and devour some food that wasn’t previously on her menu in order to make weight. She couldn’t think of a specific meal at press time, noting that she was so focused on winning first.

Williams is certain that being involved with Redmond wrestling has been a stellar experience for the last four years.

“Redmond wrestling, they have some amazing coaches. I’ve loved every practice, no matter how hard it is. I have learned how to work hard, not just wrestling but like school and other aspects in life,” said Williams, adding that her family and coaches have been massively supportive of her wrestling endeavors and she wouldn’t have reaped so much success without them.

She doesn’t plan on wrestling in college, but still wants to be involved with the sport in some way. She’s also interested in taking on a sports-related role as a physical therapist or an athletic trainer some day.

For now, she’s finally a state champion and soaked up the winning atmosphere by taking photos with her coaches and standing in the top spot on the victory podium.

* In other Redmond wrestling results, Carson Lui took fifth at 170, George Matusevych took eighth at 182 and Leah Hiatt took eighth at 120.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Molly Williams joyfully hugs one of her Redmond High coaches after securing a 12-1 championship win. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Molly Williams joyfully hugs one of her Redmond High coaches after securing a 12-1 championship win. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports
WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.