Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week: Huntley’s Janiah Slaughter

Red Raiders freshman places 3rd at IHSA Girls Wrestling State Tournament

Jania Slaughter of Huntley pins Kameyah Young of Aurora in the third place 100 pounds match at the IHSA girls state wrestling championship Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

Huntley’s Janiah Slaughter became the the first from her school to place at the IHSA Girls Wrestling State Tournament on Feb. 25 at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

The Red Raiders freshman made quick work of her opponent, defeating East Aurora’s Kameyah Young by pin in the first period to win the 100-pound third-place match.

Slaughter was among three McHenry County-area wrestlers to place, joining Richmond-Burton’s Jasmine McCaskel (fourth place, 140 pounds) and Burlington Central’s Victoria Macias (fifth, 110).

For her performance, Slaughter was voted the Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week by readers. Slaughter answered a few questions from sports writer Alex Kantecki about getting her start in wrestling, her biggest influences, SpaghettiOs and more.

How did you get into wrestling?

Slaughter: I got into wrestling in the sixth grade. At first I didn’t know much about wrestling and people suggested it to me. It was also a great way to prove how tough I was so I could play high school football.

Who are your biggest influences?

Slaughter: It’s hard to narrow down to just one person. A lot of people are an influence to me. My parents, coaches, my teammates and friends I look up to. A lot have good advice and they give me the motivation I need to succeed. They’re all supportive in what I do.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

Slaughter: My favorite movie is “Remember the Titans” and “Princess and the Frog.” My favorite TV show is “Outer Banks.”

Do you have any nicknames?

Slaughter: My nickname out of wrestling is “Lil JG,” and in wrestling it’s “Slaughter Gang.”

Who is a professional athlete you’d like to meet and hang out with for a day?

Slaughter: If i had a chance to meet and hangout with a professional athlete, it would be Tyreek Hill from Miami Dolphins.

Are there any other sports you wish you were good at or think you’d be good at?

Slaughter: I feel like I would be good at boxing. I like the aggressiveness in the sport and I also like combat sports.

Do you have any favorite meals before or after wrestling?

Slaughter: Yes, it might sound weird, but SpaghettiOs is my pre-match meal. It started in Iowa when I was underweight and I ate SpaghettiOs not knowing it’s full of salt, making me gain like two pounds.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Slaughter: My biggest pet peeve is when I’m in a rush to class or something and people are walking way to slow, like abnormally slow. Another pet peeve is when the fork scrapes the plate.

What’s something that most people wouldn’t know about you?

Slaughter: I started out doing gymnastics for nine years and stopped to pursue more in wrestling.