Nickole wins gold in state championship

Posted on Feb 02 2023

Nickole Salem gets ready during her wrestling match in the South Carolina Youth Wrestling Association Rookie/Novice State Championship last Sunday at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Nickole Salem has already collected a dozen gold medals in her young wrestling career after she recently won gold in the South Carolina Youth Wrestling Association Rookie/Novice State Championship for the girls division and silver in the mixed division last Sunday, Jan. 29, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Six-year-old Salem joined the 6U 53-lb weight class in both divisions and also, a day before on Saturday, Jan. 28, won gold in the 6U 53-lbs rookie/novice division and gold in the 6U 53-lbs girls division.

From left, Nickole Salem’s coaches Peter Plott, Patrick Campbell, and Jason Gates pose with Nickole after her matches in the South Carolina Youth Wrestling Association Rookie/Novice. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

In the girls division of Sunday’s matches, Nickole beat Giavanna Hall and Kayden Fraser, while in the mixed division, she took down Nolan Range in the quarterfinals, won against Liam Smith, then lost to Seller Sisk, and finally, won against Darryl Jones in the silver match.

Since she started competing in wrestling last December, she’s already won 12 medals.

Her father, Nicko Salem, said about her performance on both days, “According to her coaches she performed extremely well. Many parents came up to her and congratulated her personally.”

Prior to the state championships, Nickole struck gold in South Carolina’s Northern Regional Wrestling Tournament last Jan. 21 and also claimed gold in South Carolina’s Southern Regional Wrestling Tournament last Jan. 24. 

For the sport of jiu-jitsu, Nickole won two gold medals in the Jiu Jitsu World League Competition held last Nov. 19 at Osceola Heritage Park Event Center in Florida. 

She currently trains with Legacy Elite Wrestling Club in Charleston County, South Carolina, which is a youth wrestling program created to provide a place for athletes to build their wrestling skills in a unique and fun environment. Her main coach is Jason Gates, along with coaches Peter Plott and Patrick Campbell.

“My wife and I would like to thank everyone from home and around the world for always supporting Nickole. The support keeps us connected as if we never left home. Nickole really appreciates you all,” said Nicko.

Nicko is a U.S. Marine and a 2012 graduate of Saipan Southern High School, while his wife and Nickole’s mother, Maria Victoria, is an alumnae of Marianas High School.

They now reside in Charleston, South Carolina.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at
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