Bloomfield girls wrestlers Gianna Faura and Kira Pipkins gear up for nationals in Fargo, N.D.

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BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Gianna Faura and Kira Pipkins, who both won state championships in girls wrestling this past winter, are getting ready to compete in the 2022 USA Wrestling Junior and 16U National Championships at the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D., July 16-22.

Faura, a graduated senior, won the 235-pound crown to cap an unbeaten season (25-0 record with 19 pins), while Pipkins, a rising senior, won the 120-pound crown, her third state championship. BHS became the first school to have multiple state girls champions since the sport became sanctioned in the state.

Both have qualified for Fargo Nationals as they each took first place in their respective weight classes at the North-East Qualifier earlier this year.

While this is a major accomplishment, it also comes with a major expense, said BHS head coach Ryan Smircich. Both girls have been doing quite a bit of traveling and training on a national level, he added.

Faura will be competing for Alvernia University next year in the 200-pound weight class. 

Pipkins will be entering her senior year at BHS and is aiming to become the first girl wrestler to win four state titles and amass 100 varsity wins, noted Smircich.

“Both of these girls are a pleasure to coach, and as good as they are as wrestlers, they are even better students and human beings,” Smircich said. “Gianna is an honor roll student and an outstanding teammate on both the boys and girls side. Kira is a top-10 student in a class of 500 and leads by example. She will be a captain of the wrestling team again this season.

“As similar as these two are, their approach to the sport and match day is extremely different,” Smircich added. “Both are successful. However; Gianna needs to laugh and

have fun throughout competition days and is the glue that keeps the team together, while Kira is easily one of the most focused athletes I’ve come across. Kira studies positioning and technique like no one I’ve seen before.

“With girls wrestling being so new around most parts of the country, it is difficult for these girls to find female competitors without it becoming repetitive, so it has become important for them to travel. With that comes a cost, one that their parents, and community have done their best. Hopefully we can alleviate some costs. These two young ladies have represented the sport of wrestling, Bloomfield and our community extremely well. We couldn’t be more proud of them.”

GoFundMe websites have been created to help with the costs for the Nationals.

Here are the links:

For Pipkins:

For Faura:

Photos Courtesy of Jerry Simon and BHS Athletics