Sofia Macaluso of Otisville, New York, is ranked No. 1 at 122 pounds and No. 21 in the pound-for-pound rankings in the National Girls High School Rankings for March.
The daughter of Heath and Nikki Macaluso, she wrestled on the boys varsity team for Minisink Valley High School in 2019 and 2022, not competing in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19.
In 2019, she became the first female to place at the DI Section IX tournament, finishing third, while also capturing the PSAL New York girls high school state title. Macaluso was also the Mohawk Valley Freestyle tournament champion.
In 2022, she had a 60-9 record and became the first female to reach the finals at the DI Section IX tournament while also helping Minisink capture the state dual team title, winning three matches by fall. Macaluso was also the Kittatiny and Journeyman champion and a finalist at Suffern.
She earned a silver medal at the 2022 U20 World Championships in the city they named after her, Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia pinned her way to the gold medal match, defeating Sit Sito of India, Aurora Russo of Italy and Melda Dernecki of Turkey.
In 2021, she finished fifth at the Junior World Team Trials and sixth at the U23 World Team Trials while reaching the finals at Junior Nationals. In 2019, Macaluso was Junior Nationals Cadet champion, Folkstyle Nationals Cadet and Junior champion and finished fifth at the Junior World Team Trials. She was member of the New York National Freestyle team from 2018 to 2021 and finished eighth at Junior Nationals in 2018.
Macaluso interned with New York State Senator Jen Metzger, using her passion for the environment to take on a project to research municipal recycling programs across the 42nd District with the goal of developing a model program that communities could adopt or use to improve existing programs.
A black belt instructor at Budo Jiu-Jitsu MMA, she volunteers at Venom Girls Wrestling Club while also donating time at various youth wrestling tournaments.
Macaluso was chosen as a member of the 2018 American Kintero World Team, representing the United States in Japan and participating in their wrestling diversion program. She and her teammates competed in the Japan Open, lived with host families, visited schools and learned about Japanese culture. She received a New York State Senate resolution for Student Athletic Achievement in Women’s Wrestling. Macaluso has worked as a counselor at Ninja Camp USA since the eighth grade and also works as a lifeguard during the summer. Her older sister, Mia, was the New York and Northeast Region winner of the TSHSEA in 2020.
Sofia was Minisink Valley High School’s Varsity Scholar Athlete in 2022. She has signed a letter of intent to wrestle at East Stroudsburg University.
Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award
National, Northeast, New York