BILLINGS - Q2's Athlete of the Week battled through some scrappy nerves on Saturday to shine in the biggest moment of Montana's biggest wrestling tournament.
"You don't want your first loss to be at state," Billings Skyview's Kassidee Savaria told MTN Sports.
Under the bright lights and high energy of high school's marquee wrestling event, Savaria made sure she did not suffer her first loss wrestling in the 205-pound girls championship.
"I heard somebody say '15 seconds,' and I knew that if I wanted it, I had to go get it," Savaria said. "And as soon as I sunk my half in, I could just feel the adrenaline going."
Savaria was chasing another first period pin and nailed it.
"I was really hoping for it because I've had all my pins in the first period, except one this year."
Savaria's title capped back-to-back unbeaten seasons, plus another unique milestone.
By luck of the draw, all of Saturday's title matches started with the 205-pound weight class. That meant Kassidee was first to wrestle and while multiple two-time state champions were crowned, she became Montana's first female since girls wrestling became sanctioned a year ago.
"I think it's really cool," she said. "I'm really excited."
While Savaria didn't lose to another girl over the last two years, she also didn't shy away from wrestling guys in regular season matches. Why? In part, she says, to stay mindful of what it feels like to lose.
"Yeah, and it feels good to get some harder competition and be able to wrestle at a higher level."
She's at the peak level now and soaked in every moment of another first for Montana girls; wrestling on championship night inside the amped, all-class atmosphere of First Interstate Arena.
"It's really nerve-racking, but it feels really good to be in a place where everybody is watching you."