's retired from wrestling a winner Saturday, but don't expect the Madson name to disappear from the prep wrestling arena anytime soon.
Courtney Madson, a senior, and her freshman sister both rallied for third-place finishes at the inaugural CIF State Girls Wrestling Invitational at Lemoore High last weekend.
For Courtney, who won the California title last year when there was no State Invitational, the result would appear on the surface to be a bit of a disappointment. But under the circumstances, she walked away proudly.
Madson, wrestling in the 114-pound division, stunningly fell behind 7-1 in her second-round match against Cady Chessin and couldn't catch up, losing 9-4.
"That was an upset," assured her dad, , who served as Novato's coach at the event. "She hadn't been behind in a match in California for two years, so I think it kinda stunned her and threw her out of her game plan. She was never able to come back after that."
Courtney got a chance to gather herself overnight before resurfacing in the consolation bracket with a new goal.
"It's easy to win," Steve Madson noted. "If you lose and have to come back ... the other coach and I weren't sure if she could do it. She took that second day as brand new tournament and tried to win the tournament."
And that she did, gaining third place when she avenged the loss to Chessin with a 12-5 shellacking in her fourth and final match of the day.
Then, still three months shy of high school graduation, she did something shocking. She retired from wrestling.
"That was her last match," her dad assured. "She's not going to wrestle in college. To be able to leave wrestling with a win makes her feel pretty good.
"It didn't work out exactly as she wanted, but the final result is pretty good."
While her older sister concentrates on running at the University of Wyoming -- Courtney is the
Marin County Athletic League's reigning champion at 800 meters -- Carissa Madson still has three more years on the Novato mats to attempt to improve on her third-place showing at the State Invitational.
The freshman actually came closer to winning a state title than her sister, losing 2-1 to eventual champion -- Alexis Rodriguez -- in semifinals.
"The girl got warned for stalling," Steve Madson said of the thrilling match's conclusion. "If Carissa had been a more experienced wrestler, she would have pressed the pace and gotten a penalty point."
Demonstrating the poise of a veteran wrestler, Carissa bounced back to win 4-2 and 7-2 in her consolation-bracket matches, securing third place.
"I'm real proud of her," her dad assured. "She's only been wrestling for about a year and a half, and this season she had a concussion that kept her out for three weeks and a hyperextended elbow that kept her out for week and a half. So she really hasn't had much experience."
Like her sister, Carissa now heads to the track, where she competes in the 200 and 400 while her sister runs longer distances.
"And if she has her way," her dad noted, "she'll be a pole vaulter, too."
was a third Hornet at the State Invitational. She lost both her matches, but not without getting her money's worth.
The sophomore was leading her consolation-bracket match against Bernice Blanco 5-0 with just 15 seconds left, but then got reversed and put on her back, tying the score.
Scott, a first-year wrestler, then lost 7-5 in overtime.
Novato finished tied for 13th place in the team standings with 37 points.