Mexico Lady Bulldogs Inaugural Season-Part 8
By: Jonathan Bowen
On most Monday’s student-athletes are in a class all day and going to practice or a meet after school. But when it’s a holiday, things are a little different. For the Lady Bulldogs, it started earlier than normal. For the second time in a three-day stretch, the Mexico lady wrestlers were awake, on a bus and on the road before 5:00 a.m. Their destination was Winnetonka H.S. near Worlds of Fun.
According to trackwrestling.com, there were nearly two dozen teams scheduled to be at this tournament. However, that was not going to be the case this time. Mexico ended up being one of only nine teams that competed at this event. At the time of this article being written there is no known explanation for why the fifteen other teams did not show up. With the exception of Mexico, the rest of these teams were from in and around the Kansas City metro area. This included the defending state team champions, Harrisonville.
Since there were zero people allowed at this event other than coaches and athletes (like several other events this season), there was an online live stream available to watch the tournament. What was unique about this particular event though is that the streaming services were completely run by the journalism students at Winnetonka. Props to those students as they were able to capture every match while running a split screen to show the list of upcoming matches and which mat the wrestlers would be on. This made it a fan-friendly viewing from wherever you were watching. Well done journalism students of Winnetonka.
According to trackwrestling.com no team scores were kept for this tournament. However, if they were it would have appeared that Mexico would have faired well with three medalists on the day.
Katherine Bowen placed 1st at 107 lbs. weight class. She made her scheduled weight of 102/104 but was bumped up in order to get matches. Her opponent was from Blue Springs. She won both first and second-round matchups by identical scores of 3-1.
Abbigale Drew placed 3rd at 122 lbs. Drew started off strong with a 2nd period pin vs. one of the girls from Winnetonka. She then lost two straight, suffering defeats from the girls from Harrisonville and Blue Springs. She then had a bye round and finished the day on a solid note by pinning her final opponent. At the end of the day she earned another 3rd place finish on the season.
Kaylynn Pehle placed 6th at 132 lbs. Today Pehle’s bracket was the largest out of any other weight class. Along with sheer numbers, the quality of opponents was also deep. Kaylynn had a returning state qualifier in round one, just to give you an idea of the level of competition. And it was only going to get tougher in her next match as she faced her first Harrisonville Opponent. She was then seeded to the consolation bracket and notched a victory against a different Harrisonville Opponent and an opportunity to go for fifth by using a series of headlock counters before pinning her opponent.
Choice Foster placed 2nd at 143 lbs. Foster battled hard in her bracket at this tournament but ended up coming up just short of the top spot at the podium and finished second with the silver medal.
Starting this Thursday (January 21st), the Lady Bulldogs will have their toughest stretch (in terms of traveling) to date as they are hosting a triangular meet on Thursday against Fulton and St. Charles West. They then will travel to Liberty North on Friday, and Saturday they are in Brookfield for the Gary Haag Classic. According to Google Maps, this will require the Lady Bulldogs to travel an estimate of just under 550 miles, compete in two tournaments, in just a little over a 24-hour time span. Add this to the nearly four hundred miles that they traveled to Winnetonnka and back (along with the round trip to Willard), we’re looking at close to 1500 miles in a week. We will see what these ladies are made of by the week’s end as they maintain their weights and recover from competition and travel.
Even further out, the girls still have to travel to Kirksville, Marshall (this is their second trip there in the past month), and Seckman before coming home to kick off their first postseason as a team by hosting the District 4 Girls Tournament.