This time, both sides of the state will get to claim rights to the best high school girl athlete of the 2019-20 season.
Sierra Thrun, a wrestler at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, was just named the azcentral Sports Award Girls Athlete of the Year. And three weeks ago, a similar award was handed out to one of the southern Arizona athletes when MaxPreps named Sahuaro High School (Tucson) basketball player Alyssa Brown its top female athlete.
Both of the athletes, who will be seniors when the new school year starts, also earned Player of the Year honors for their individual sports. And Brown (photo above) holds the added distinction of being the 2020 Gatorade Player of the Year.
Understandably, Thrun is receiving the lion’s share of publicity since her achievements come in a male-dominated sport. In addition to her participation on the girls’ wrestling team at Corona, she also competed on the boys’ team in the 113 lb. weight class. She wrestles at 110 on the girls’ team.
Her dual record last season was 13-0, marking her second consecutive undefeated season on the girls’ team She was so dominant that her opponents last season managed just a single offensive point against her through all her matches.
Thrun picked up her interest in wrestling before entering high school, encouraged by her older sister, Coree, who was already into the sport during her middle school years. Sierra had been competing as the only girl on the boys’ team at Corona; the Arizona Interscholastic Association only recently added girls’ wrestling as a varsity sport.
The Corona girls’ team includes just three wrestlers, but is expected to grow in numbers as Sierra continues to break new ground in promoting the sport.
Brown displayed her talents in a more traditional sport for girls. A 6’1″ forward on the Sahuaro basketball team, she averaged 31.4 points last season to lead the Cougars to a 28-2 record and a berth in the 4A state championship game against Seton Catholic HS, which won its fourth state title in the last five years. Sahuaro, seeded third in the state tourney, knocked off No. 2 Shadow Mountain HS to earn a shot at top-seeded Seton.
In addition to her 31-point average, Brown contributed 9.7 rebounds and 3.9 steals a game. Her season total of 932 points set a new Arizona single-season scoring record and brought Brown’s prep career total to 2,094 points.
She has more than a dozen D-I offers, including several from Power 5 programs.