Part 14: Districts hosted by Mexico Lady Bulldogs

Mexico Lady Bulldogs Inaugural Season-Part 14

By: Jonathan Bowen

With a season of firsts all around the team and during the season, hosting the District 4 Tournament seemed right up the Mexico Lady Bulldog’s alley. The mats were rolled out and a man who has hosted his fair share of boys’ district tournaments, Steve Haag, coordinated the whole thing. The tables were set. The mats all taped up and mopped. Now probably the toughest part of the tournament, the waiting.

For all of the intensity that wrestling brings, patience is something that all wrestlers must learn. The long bus rides across the state. Waiting an hour or two after weigh-ins before competing. Waiting for at least 45 minutes between matches. Waiting in the sometimes long lines in the various spots at the tournament, bullpen area, using the bathroom, etc. This teaches among other things, patience. Coach Senor is acutely aware of this and would constantly remind his young team that this is part of what it takes to be successful throughout the regular season.

The District Tournament is no different. MSHSAA regulates all of the time tables and even though the girls are ready to wrestle, they will have to wait until the appropriate time. I was able to catch up with both Head Girls Coach Tony Senor and Mexico’s Head Boys’ Coach Gayle Adams to discuss their take on them hosting the event.

Coach Senor stated he was proud of all of his wrestlers and parents stepping up to have Mexico hosting its first Girls’ Tournament today. Coach Adams went a step further and stated that any time we can showcase an event like this for our community, that we (Mexico) will come out and support it. He continued to state that It’s unfortunate that this happened during the Covid Era. He suspects that the gym would have been packed to support the girls’ program.

The team etched out a respectful fifth place finish and 56 team points, edging out Conference opponent Fulton in the standings. A solid report for the first year team after their first round of postseason action. OVerall, every single girl who competed for Mexico this weekend, will live to fight for the opportunity to go to the state tournament at Sectionals, hosted by Versailles.

Individual Results

Katie Bowen at 102 lbs placed 1st. She was seeded second for the tournament and therefore had a bye until the semi-finals. She secured the fall in that round and an opportunity to wrestle her opponent from South Callaway in the finals. The finals match from the get go was set up to be a barn burner with each wrestler scoring points. During the second period Katie found her rhythm and finished strong with a major decision victory. Final score was 24-11. She is the first girls’ district champion in Mexico High School’s history.

Abby Drew at 122 lbs placed 3rd… Abby was also seeded second in her bracket and had a bye into the semi-finals. She lost a nail biter to the number 3 seed 6-4. In the consi-semi finals she faced off against a familiar opponent from Fulton. After some scoring mishaps and confusion between the referee and the score table (that actually awarded Fulton the win initially), the match would be settled in overtime. First overtime no score. 2nd and 3rd OT, both scored an escape. In 4th OT, Abby got position choice as she scored first at the start of the match. She scored a quick escape for the first quadruple overtime victory in Mexico Lady Bulldogs’ history and qualified for sectionals.

Kaylynn Pehle at 132 placed 3rd. Seeded fifth, she scored a third period fall in the quarterfinal matchup against Tipton. In her semi-finals she had the number one seeded girl (who’s also undefeated) from Rock Bridge. She lost by fall to her opponent from Rock Bridge. In order to qualify for Sectionals, she had to beat someone who had previously pinned her earlier in the season. It was 8-6 going into the 3rd period and Kaylynn hit the hammer and scored 5 more points to win 13-6. She followed up with a pin in her 3rd place match.

Choice Foster at 143 placed 3rd. Seeded 3rd in a 3-man bracket means that Choice would automatically qualify for sectionals. If would just be what kind of seed would she earn going into sectionals. She lost her semi-final matchup against Jefferson City and will be matched up against the District 3 runner-up for the first round of Sectionals.

Brett Iman at 151 placed 4th. Seeded 4th for the tournament, she earned a first round bye into the semi-finals against the number one seed from Eldon. She ended up losing to the eventual District Champ but made it all the way back and qualified for Sectionals with a 4th place finish.

The way the postseason is working this year for the girls is that they will have two weeks before sectionals. Mexico’s sectionals, should any of the girls qualify take place in Versailles. This is happening to help reduce the risk of the Covid-19 virus. Then, if they make it through to state, the Girls Tournament is on March 9th. Instead of the traditional location of Columbia, MSHSAA ruled that the tournament would take place in Independence, MO.