Part 11: Mexico Lady Bulldogs travel to Gary Haag Invitational

Mexico Lady Bulldogs Inaugural Season-Part 11

By:  Jonathan Bowen

Mental toughness.  A good definition would be willing the physical body via the mind to do what the mind says the body should do, despite the circumstances that dictate otherwise.  The Mexico Lady Bulldogs had to use every bit of the mental toughness after arriving around midnight and turning around to travel to another tournament and make weight five hours later/ 6.5 hours later respectively.  

On Friday, the Lady Bulldogs left to go compete at the Liberty North invite and wrestled until about 8:00 p.m. or so before heading home.  Some of the ladies did earn hardware for their efforts but nothing was passed out because medals and other awards being passed out were considered a COVID risk byt the personnel running the tournament.  This event did not allow spectators, members of the press, etc. but did allow all of the parents of the LIberty North Seniors to come in and celebrate Senior night for their ladies part of the way through the event.  

The Gary Haag Invitational featured 13 teams, including District 4 opponents Fatima, Blair Oaks, and Centralia.  The other teams were mainly from the Northwest part of Missouri, including Penney, Marceline,Trenton and Plattsburg.

The Lady Bulldogs performed well as a team of only five competitors finished fourth as a team, with 46 points behind the host Brookfield, Gallatin and the team champion Marceline (who earned a total of 103 points).  

Katherine Bowen placed 1st at 102 lbs.  Her first match was against District 4 opponent Centralia and she was able to dispatch her in the second period by fall.  She then had her opponent from Marceline.  After giving up the first point on an escape to start the second period, she rattled off 11 unanswered points, including forcing two stalling calls and two close calls for pins that were called off due to the end of the period.  

Abbigale Drew placed 1st at 122 lbs.  Abbigayle started off round one with a 3rd period pin over her opponent from Marceline.  After her bye round, she made quick work of her next three opponents by pinning them.  She pinned two of her opponents early in the third and one just before the end of the first period.  

Kaylynn Pehle placed 3rd at 137 lbs.  Due to bracket sizes, Kaylynn was forced to wrestle up from her typical weight class in order to get matches.  She struggled in her losses and you could tell the slight size difference between her and her opponents.  She fought well in each round and notched a victory by fall  in round four to secure her 3rd place finish.  

Choice Foster placed 3rd at 143 lbs. Choice had a bracket that featured at least one ranked wrestler from Gallatin.  Choice finished the day in third place behind the Gallatin opponent and her opponent from Marceline. 

Brett Iman’s placed 5th. This is her second tournament back and her bracket was loaded with some talent asa well, including a returning state medalist from Plattsburg.  She struggled in all of her matches but was able to score some team points with her fifth place finish.

Next week (January 24-30) the girls are scheduled 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.  Both Marshall and Kirksville are conference opponents.  Kirksville is in District 4 along with the Lady Bulldogs and the Seckman Tournament will feature some potential sectional matchups, again, should the ladies move past the district tournament.  

The District Tournament (hosted by the Mexico Lady Bulldogs) is one week from the Seckman Tournament.  There are currently no meets scheduled for the Lady Bulldogs during the weekdays leading up to the District 4 Tournament.  After talking with Coach Senor, he seems very optimistic about the way his team is performing going into the final week of the regular season and gearing up for the post-season.  They don’t have the numbers to contend for a team title but Senor is optimistic about getting several of his wrestlers through Districts.