By Michael Smith
Not everything went the way Lebanon head girls wrestling coach Matt Neely wanted, but the ultimate goal was achieved at the Missouri High School State Girls Wrestling Championships.
His Yellowjackets had six of their eight competitors earn state medals and no one won an individual state title. However, they won their second title in three years as they finished with 101 team points, 19.5 ahead of second-place Lafayette Wildwood. Washington took third (61) and Harrisonville was fourth (59).
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Lebanon now owns two of the three first-place plaques given out since the girls division was established in the state during the 2018-19 season.
“That’s pretty much what we wrestle for,” Neely said. “It feels good, but we could have had eight medals instead of six if we had a better tournament.”
Halea Bartel (122 pounds) led the way for the Yellowjackets with a second-place finish in her weight division.
“It’s really exciting,” Bartel said. “I have worked hard for this and my teammates worked hard for this. We are just glad we did this as a team.
“There was some tough competition that I wrestled today.I know they worked hard, too.”
Others to earn a state medal for Lebanon were Bailey Joiner (127, third), Quincey Glendenning (132, sixth), Taylor Johnson (143, third), Ali Haiser (159, fourth) and Mariyah Brumley (235, fifth).
“Taylor coming in at third wasn’t really a surprise, but she wrestled really well to get there,” Neely said. “Ali getting second helped a lot but that wasn’t necessarily a surprise either.”
So what’s in store for Lebanon next season. Could they make it three out of four state titles in 2022?
“We have all of our state qualifiers coming back next season and we have a couple of good freshmen coming in,” Neely said.
Below is a summary of how each weight division panned out at state:
102: No. 1-ranked Ashlyn Eli of Nixa won her second state title in a row after getting pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals and earning an 8-2 decision against No. 3 ranked Audrey Scherer of Lindbergh.
“It feels great,” Eli said. “I never thought I would win two state titles. I went into that last match nervous but I still did pretty good.”
After getting pinned by Scherer in the semifinals, Mexico freshman Katherine Bowen took third after edging Lily Mccollum, ranked No. 6 of Eureka. In the fifth-place match, Julia Donnelly of Washington pinned Raytown South senior Jasmine Alcantara, ranked No. 4, in the second round.
1st: Ashlyn Eli, Nixa
2nd: Audrey Scherer, Lindbergh
3rd: Katherine Bowen, Mexico
4th: Lilly Mccollum, Eureka
5th: Julia Donnelly, Washington
6th: Jasmine Alcantara, Raytown South
107: Lafayette Wildwood junior Faith Cole, ranked No. 1, finished her season unbeaten at 36-0 after getting a 16-1 tech fall victory against Washington senior Mia Reed, ranked No. 3 in the championship match. It was her third state title, and next year, she has the chance to become Missouri’s first four-time state champ in 2022.
“It feels really good to get it over with,” Cole said. “I got one more year to do it with my team again. My team is great. I love it.”
Liberty freshman Jaden Breeden, ranked No. 2, was pinned by Cole in the first round of the semifinals. She rebounded to take third after a 9-1 victory against Monett’s Abigail Jastal.
Francis Howell Central sophomore took fifth after edging Butler’s Makayla Mallett 6-3 in the consolation finals.
1st: Faith Cole, Lafayette Wildwood
2nd: Mia Reed, Washington
3rd: Jaden Breeden, Liberty
4th: Abigail Jastal, Monett
5th: Sophia Miller, Francis Howell Central
6th: Makayla Mallatt, Butler
112: Cassville sophomore Annie Moore, ranked No. 1, made history for her school Tuesday. She became the first state wrestling champion for Cassville on the boys or girls side after pinning Staley junior Chloe Sheckells, ranked No. 2, in the title bout.
“It’s an honor, I wanted it for awhile,” Moore said of becoming Cassville’s first state champ.
St. Joseph Benton’s Lexi Petersen might have been unranked but she earned a third-place medal after earning a 6-3 decision against No. 4-ranked Aiva Mayer of Carrollton. Festus junior Kirsten Kelin took fifth after topping Holt’s Reese Compton 13-8 in sudden victory of the fifth-place match.
1st: Annie Moore, Cassville
2nd: Chloe Sheckells, Staley
3rd: Lexi Petersen, St. Joseph Benton
4th: Aiva Mayer, Carrollton
5th: Kirsten Klien, Festus
6th: Reese Compton, Holt
117: No. 1-ranked Chloe Herrick had a tough match against Allison Meyer of Washington, who came into the championship match with a 44-0 record. Herrick managed to hand the Washington senior her first loss after getting a pin in 3:30 to claim first.
“I took second last year,” Herrick said. “I’ve been in this position and I prepared for it and I felt really confident.”
Herrick pinned Marceline freshman Payton Weese in the semifinals, but Weese bounced back to take third after a second-period pin of Marshall’s Cynthia Martinez. Fulton junior Rylee Baker took fifth after pinning Parkway South’s Nadia Middendorf in the consolation finals.
1st: Chloe Herrick, Harrisonville
2nd: Allison Meyer, Washington
3rd: Payton Weese, Marceline
4th: Cynthia Martinez, Marshall
5th: Rylee Baker, Fulton
6th: Nadia Middendorf, Parkway South
122: Nixa freshman Brenya Crahan might have come into the state tournament as the No. 3 wrestler in her weight class. But on Tuesday, she proved she was No. 1 after pinning No. 5-ranked Bartel in the title bout.
No. 8-ranked Talia Lee of Webster Groves upset Staley junior Lexi Hatfield, ranked No. 1, after getting a second period pin in the third-place bout. North County sophomore Mikayla Whatley, ranked No. 2, took fifth after earning a 4-2 win over no. 4-ranked Marissa Sanabria of Holt in the fifth-place match.
“I used a chicken wing, I think I used that every time I pinned her,” Crahan said of her match with Bartel. “It’s the move that gets me all my pins.”
1st: Brenya Crahan, Nixa
2nd: Halea Bartel, Lebanon
3rd: Talia Lee, Webster Groves
4th: Lexi Hatfield, Staley
5th:Mikayla Whatley, North County
6th: Marissa Sanabria, Holt
127: Harrisonville senior and No. 1-ranked Nonnie Justice will finish her career with three state titles after she bested Odessa’s Mateja Wilson, ranked No. 3, in the finals 10-2.
“I think it would have been nice to have the opportunity to be a four-timer, but I am grateful for the growth we have seen so far,” Justice said. “I am glad I got the opportunity to win a state title.”
After suffering a defeat by first period pin in the semifinals, Joiner, ranked No. 4, ended up taking third after pinning Isabel Basler of St. Genevieve in the third period. Park Hill’s Eve Herlyn, ranked No. 2, took fifth after getting a 6-0 decision against Janiah Jones of Parkway South.
1st: Nonnie Justice, Harrisonville
2nd: Mateja Wilson, Odessa
3rd: Bailey Joiner, Lebanon
4th: Isabel Basler, St. Genevieve
5th: Eve Herlyn, Park Hill
6th: Janiah Jones, Parkway South
132: St. Charles senior Sabrina King came into the state tournament undefeated at 29-0, and it stayed that way for the No. 1-ranked wrestler after she got pins in all three of her matches, including one against No. 8-ranked Skyler Maverick in the championship match.
Park Hill junior Tayn Johnson ended up taking third after her loss to King in the semifinals. She got a pin over her own in 2:42 against Sikestone’s Kate Grubbs. No. 2-ranked Anna Stephens of Columbia Rock Bridge took fifth after erasing a 6-0 deficit to get a 7-6 victory against Glendenning.
1st: Sabrina King, St. Charles
2nd: Skyler Maverick, Buffalo
3rd: Taryn Johnson, Park Hill
4th: Kate Grubbs, Sikeston
5th: Anna Stephens, Columbia Rock Bridge
6th: Quincey Glendenning, Lebanon
State medalists: Parkway West junior Paige Wehmeister made the state tournament the previous two years but didn’t place. She ended up taking a big leap Tuesday after No. 2-ranked wrestler took first following her 10-0 major decision against unranked Naida Abdijanovic of Mehlville in the finals.
“It felt pretty good. It was awesome,” Wehmeister said. “I felt like I wrestled really good in that match because I had beaten her in sectionals, so I was trying to go for more points.”
Serafina Blackmon of Lafayette Wildwood, ranked No.4, upset No. 1 ranked Maria Slaughter of Holt after getting a second-period pin to take third. Park Hill South senior Finley Bickford, ranked No. 6, pinned No. 5-ranked Cassidy Head of St. Charles to claim fifth.
1st: Paige Wehmeister, Parkway West
2nd: Naida Abdjianovic, Mehlville
3rd: Seraphine Blackmon, Lafayette Wildwood
4th: Maria Slaughter, Holt
5th: Finley Bickford, Park Hill South
6th: Cassidy Head, St. Charles
143: Park Hill South sophomore Maddie Kibicki, ranked No. 1had the toughest match of her career against No. 2-ranked Esther Han of Holt. Han almost pinned Kubicki at one point, but Kubicki narrowly avoided taking the fall. She ended up earning an 8-3 victory for her second state title.
“Honestly, I am just glad to have a tough match, Kubicki said. Throughout the season, it was hard to find a decent match. It was nice to get into that more competitive game against Esther.”
No. 3 ranked Johnson fell to Kubicki by fall in the semifinals but rebounded for third place after edging Lathrop’s Josie Wright 3-2. Mid-Buchanan’s Layson Hafley took fifth after pinning Dexter’s Julianna Rivera in the consolation championship/
1st: Maddie Kubicki, Park Hill South
2nd: Esther Han, Holt
3rd: Taylor Johnson, Lebanon
4th: Josie Wright, Lathrop
5th: Layson Hafley, Mid-Buchanan
6th: Julianna Rivera, Dexter
151: No. 1-ranked Haley Ward of Fort Osage was not happy after her match with undefeated Hannah Jansen of Webster Groves, ranked No. 2, Ward didn’t get the pin she wanted but took first anyway by controlling the match from start to finish in a 6-2 decision.
“It’s all right,” Ward said of winning her second state title. “I felt like I could have done better than that. I am excited I got two. Hopefully, there is more to come.”
Grain Valley freshman Sevreign Aumua, ranked No. 3, rolled her ankle in a pinfall loss to Jansen in the semifinals, but she fought through the injury to take third after pinning Willard’s Lexi Adams in 1:46.
Plattsburg’s Payge Fuller took fifth after getting a pin in 4:48 in the consolation finals against Francis Howell’s Audrey McDonnell.
1st: Haley Ward, Fort Osage
2nd: Hannah Jansen, Webster Groves
3rd: Sevreign Aumua, Grain Valley
4th: Lexi Adams, Willard
5th: Payge Fuller, Plattsburg
6th: Audrey McDonnell, Francis Howell
159: Lafayette Wildwood senior Josette Partney, ranked No. 1, finished her season with a perfect 36-0 record after pinning Platte County senior Sarina Bertham, ranked No. 6, in the first period of the title bout.
“It felt great,” Partney said of winning a state title. “I worked really hard to get this. I happy to see my hard work paying off.”
No. 4-ranked Emma Schreiber took third after falling to Bertram 5-3 in the semifinals and rebounding for a pin in 3:42 against Haiser in the third-place bout. No. 3-ranked Kelsey Burden of Knob Noster tok fifth after a pin in 2:12 against No. 7-ranked Elisabeth Cosentino of McCluer North.
1st: Josette Partney, Lafayette Wildwood
2nd: Sarina Bertram, Platte County
3rd: Emma Schreiber, Kirkwood
4th: Ali Haiser, Lebanon
5th: Kelsey Burden, Knob Noster
6th: Elisabeth Cosentino, McCluer North
174: DeSoto senior Jaycee Foeller, ranked No. 1, became a three-time state champion after pinning Parkway West senior Emma Carter, ranked No. 6, in the championship match.
“I think everything I have worked for has finally paid off,” Foeller said. “I feel gratified I guess. It feels good.”
No. 5-ranked Jaiden Powell of Union took third after losing 12-5 to Carter in the semifinals then bouncing back for a pin in 4:08 against Marshfield junior Kiana Massie, ranked No. 8. Brookfield senior Zoey Chrisman finished fifth after earning a 6-3 decision against Seneca’s Isabella Renfro.
1st: Jaycee Foeller, DeSoto
2nd: Emma Carter, Parkway West
3rd: Jaiden Pwell, Union
4th: Kiana Massie, Marshfield
5th: Zoey Chrisman, Brookfield
6th: Isabella Renfro, Seneca
195: Catherine Dutton, ranked No. 1, became the first state champion for Springfield Central’s boys or girls program after pinning No. 3-ranked Kaylyn Munn in 3:11 in the championship match.
“It’s amazing, I worked all year for this,” Dutton said of becoming the school’s first state champ. “To finally have an accomplishment like this is like a breath of fresh air. I put in the work and it worked.”
Sedalia Smith-Cotton senior Kali Butts lost a nail biter 4-2 against Munn in the semifinals but defeated Watson by second-period fall to take third. No. 2-ranked Maggie Myracle of St. Genevieve took fifth after pinning No. 7-ranked Brooke Bennett of North County.
1st: Catherine Dutton, Springfield Central
2nd: KayLyn Munn, Platte County
3rd: Kali Butts, Sedalia Smith-Cotton
4th: Jada Watson, Buffalo
5th: Maggie Myracle, St. Genevieve
6th: Brooke Bennett, North County
235: Kearney senior Lexie Cole, ranked No. 1, ended her high school career as a three-time champion after she pinned Tipton senior Kyla Cornine, ranked No. 3, in the title bout.
“It’s a blessing,” Cole said. “I really couldn’t ask for anything else except for maybe starting a year earlier. It is what it is. I had a blast.”
No. 2-ranked Kiara Boldridge of William Chrisman fell to Cornine in the semifinals but ended up taking third after pinning Alayna Ray of Park Hill Central. Brumley was a fifth-place finisher after she got a pin in 33 seconds in the consolation finals against Francis Howell Central’s Kennedy Eggering.
1st; Lexie Cole, Kearney
2nd: Kyla Cornine, Tipton
3rd: Kiara Boldridge, William Chrisman
4th: Alayna Ray, Park Hill Central
5th: Mariyah Brumley, Lebanon
6th: Kennedy Eggering, Francis Howell Central