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Fort Osage girls send five to wrestling sectionals

By Michael Smith
The Examiner

Fort Osage girls wrestling coach Derick Barker said he thought his team had a good chance to take first place as a team going into the District 7 tournament.

The Indians seemed to have a shot at it, especially with an elite-level wrestler on the team like Haley Ward. It was not to be, however, as the Indians took third with 100 points Saturday at Staley High School.

Staley captured first place with 135 points. William Chrisman took ninth (62), Van Horn was 16th (15) and Truman was tied for 18th.

Fort Osage pushed five competitors through to the sectional round, which will take place on Feb. 20. The top four finishers in each weight division advanced to sectionals.

“We had a pretty big girls team this year, we had 15,” Barker said. “We had 13 in the tournament but we’re young. We have 10 freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors. We feel like we made a lot of progress this year. The girls wanted to win a district championship. We put ourselves in position to do that, but we just came up short.”

Ward continued her dominant season as she improved to 27-1. She won all three of her matches by fall and capped it with a pin in 1:21 against Liberty North’s Erma Williams. Ward started off the 151-pound final with a lightning-quick single leg takedown and controlled it from there.

“I am proud of the season I’ve had so far,” said Ward, who is ranked No. 2 in her weight class according to the rankings. “That loss I had earlier in the season helped motivate me to get better. Because of COVID, we haven’t got to wrestle as much, but I think we have a special group of girls on this team. We have the team that we have, and I’m glad I have wrestled the way that I have.”

So is Barker, who has asked the sophomore to take on a role she hasn’t had before at the high school level.

“We asked her to step into the leadership role,” Barker said. “She’s done such a great job. It’s easy to build a program around someone like that. It gets the team excited to see the success she has. She’s bought into what we are doing as a program.”

Allison Kraemer (122) and Lauren Hahne (137) had a chance to take first, too, but both ran into tough competition in the finals. Hahne won two matches by fall before getting pinned by Park Hill South’s Finley Bickford in the championship.

Kraemer was pinned by No. 1-ranked Lexi Hatfield of Staley in the championship following her win by pin in the semifinals.

“I think my tournament went really well. All of our wrestlers did really good,” Kraemer said. “I did well in my first match, I got a pin in 1:12. In my second match, I wrestled her before. She’s really good.

“I have done well this season. I have consistently placed top four in all of my tournaments.”

Aroma Marrufo (127) and Saddie Waller (112) also made it to sectionals as both placed fourth. Waller won her bubble match in the consolation semifinals by pin and Marrufo won, squeaking out a 5-3 victory.

For William Chrisman, Cosette Jorgensen (151), Mary-Mae McMillian (195) and Kiara Boldridge (235) advanced to sectionals.

Boldridge, who’s ranked No. 2, led the way for the Bears, taking first after winning all three of her matches by pin, including a 54-second fall in her final against Liberty North’s Elaina Gorten.

“The girl is really strong,” Boldridge said of Gorten. “I just had to keep telling myself, ‘You have to push to get first.’”

McMillian, ranked No. 2, got two pins in her first two matches before getting pinned by Platte County’s Kaylyn Munn in the finals as she took second. Jorgensen lost in the semifinals by pin before rebounding for two pins of her own in the consolation bracket to take third.

“We had some disappointment last night,” Chrisman girls coach Trent Stephens said. “We had a couple of matches that I really thought we were going to win. The last minute, things didn’t turn out the way we thought. We lost a couple (in Friday’s opening rounds).

“We wrestled really tough today. I am excited because we got three through to sectionals. All three have a good shot to continue on to state.”

Robyn Murphy will be the lone Van Horn representative at sectionals as she finished fourth at 159. She lost her quarterfinal match by pin after taking a 13-6 decision in the first round. She won her next two matches by forfeit and pin before getting pinned in the third-place match.

DISTRICT 6: Blue Springs South will send three, including one champion, to the Feb. 20 sectional tournament.

The Jaguars, led by Gabby Hampton’s first-place finish, took ninth with 43 points. Harrisonville dominated with 206. Blue Springs finished 13th with 30, Grain Valley (24) was 14th and Lee’s Summit North (11) took 18th.

Hampton pinned Butler’s Makayla Mallatt in 1:05 to claim the 107-pound title. Triniti Greiner (159) took third and Ariel Adams (102) took fourth for the Jaguars to advance.

Blue Springs got just one wrestler to sectional but she is a champion. Mady Banker edged Knob Noster’s Nina Lapee 7-5 to capture the 122-pound title.

Grain Valley also has a champion advancing. Sevreign Aumua (151) pinned Knob Noster’s Abby Sader in 1:05 in her title match. Lee’s Summit North’s Katelynn Ravasinni took fourth at 151 to move on. She was the only Bronco to advance.