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Eagles' Aumua pins down state berth

Jags' Hampton also makes state; two from Fort Osage, one from Chrisman advance from Sectional 4

By Michael Smith
The Examiner
Fort Osage's Haley Ward, right, controls the leg of Plattsburg's Payge Fuller during their 151-pound championship match at the Sectional 4 tournament Saturday at Platte County High School. Ward pinned Fuller in the second period to capture the title and a No. 1 seed at the March 9 state tournament.

During the first two years when the Missouri State High School Activities Association gave girls their own division in wrestling, Grain Valley didn’t have a female to start a program.

That was until this season.

Freshman Sevreign "Sevi" Aumua joined the squad for the 2020-21 season, and she might be a key building block to the Eagles adding more wrestlers to the girls program in the future – especially when other girls who attend Grain Valley see the success that the freshman has had.

At the Class 1 Sectional 3 tournament Saturday at Harrisonville High School, Aumua dominated. She got three pins in less than 40 seconds, including one in 24 seconds in the finals to win the 151-pound weight class and advance to the Missouri High School State Wrestling Championships March 9 at Cable Dahmer Arena.

“What better way to promote girls wrestling at your school than to have one that does so well?” Grain Valley head coach Jeff Bowman asked rhetorically. “She loves the sport and is so positive.”

More:'One of the guys': Grain Valley's first female wrestling district champion feels at home with boys

The Grain Valley freshman was one of two Eastern Jackson County wrestlers to qualify for the state tournament. The other was Blue Springs South sophomore Gabby Hampton.

Aumua is undefeated on the season with a 25-0 record and is ranked No. 3 in her weight class according to the MissouriWrestling.com poll. She pinned West Platte’s Emily Howell in 36 seconds in the quarterfinals; pinned Willard’s Lexi Adams in 25 seconds in the semifinals; and pinned No. 5-ranked Abby Sader of Knob Noster in just 24 seconds in the final.

She spent a total of just 1:25 in the circle in three matches. One period in wrestling lasts two minutes, so she was able to win three matches in less time than one full period of a wrestling match takes.

“Confidence,” Aumua said of her quick victory against a ranked opponent. “I had a good warmup before the match. The people who came here, my teammates and coaches, really helped me.

“I feel really confident that I can have quick matches. The coaches tell me to get on and off the mat.”

And having those types of matches are beneficial for Aumua according to Bowman.

“With everything that is going on this year, we just want to make sure we stay protected,” Bowman said. “And we’re staying safe and she’s getting the work she needs. She is having fun and she’s getting better.”

Her quick matches have been a product of the chicken wing, a move she’s perfected.

“A lot of the people she wrestles know she’s going to do that,” Bowman said. “It’s just one of those things where she goes out and imposes her will. It’s fun to watch.”

Like Aumua is for Grain Valley, Hampton (107 pounds) will be the first girl from Blue Springs South to qualify for state. She’s helping build a South girls program that qualified three girls for sectionals, including Ariel Adams (102) and Triniti Greiner (159).

Hampton got a pin in 1:50 in the quarterfinals and pinned Lebanon’s Lillian Cottongim in the semifinals. That set her up with a match against No. 4-ranked Abigail Jastal in the finals. Hampton put up a good fight, but was pinned in 3:17 as she finished second.

“It means a lot more than I thought it would,” Hampton said of being the first girl from South to make it to state. “It wasn’t easy but I really love this sport.”

And part of that love was inherited from her two brothers, Dan and Sam. The latter is a South graduate and was a state medalist. Dan is currently on the boys team and will wrestle in his own sectional Saturday.

“I feel like I am following in their steps, basically,” Hampton said. “It’s really fun to do what they got to do.”

Jaguars head coach Doug Black said he couldn’t be more proud of the milestone Hampton reached.

“We had a special group of girls this year,” Black said. They came a long way. The three girls I had here today just took off since Christmas. They committed to the program and got better.

“Gabby has had a great run so far, and hopefully she can continue. She beat some great kids today.”

Adams was pinned in the quarterfinals by No. 1-ranked Ashlyn Eli in the quarterfinals before bouncing back for a win by fall in the consolation round. But she lost her third match in the consolation semifinals in a 3-0 decision.

Greiner was pinned in the quarterfinals, but bounced back for a pin over her own in the consolation bracket. She lost in the consolation semifinals in a 3-1 decision.

Blue Springs’ lone representative, Mady Bunker (122), who is ranked No. 6, came into sectionals as a No. 1 seed. She opened with a 6-3 decision in the quarterfinals before getting pinned by No. 5-ranked Helea Bartel of Lebanon in the semifinals. Her day and season ended in the consolation semifinals after a tough 4-2 loss in sudden victory to Knob Noster’s Nina Lapee.

SECTIONAL 4: Fort Osage will send two and William Chrisman got one through in the Sectional 4 tournament Saturday at Platte County High School.

Haley Ward will go to the state tournament March 9 at Cable Dahmer Arena as a No. 1 seed after scoring a second-period pin over Plattsburg’s Payge Fuller in the 151-pound championship. Ward improved to 30-1.

Chrisman’s Kiara Boldridge will join Ward as a No. 1 seed at state after capturing the 235-pound title. Boldridge remained undefeated this season at 22-0 by pinning Kearney’s Lexie Cole 24 seconds into the second period to claim the sectional crown.

William Chrisman's Kiara Boldridge celebrates with her family after defeating Kearney's Lexie Cole with a pin early in the second period of their 235-pound championship match. Boldridge enters the March 9 state tournament as a sectional champion and a No. 1 seed.

Lauren Hahne will join her teammate Ward at state after taking second at 137 pounds. Hahne advanced to the final but was stopped by Park Hill South’s Finley Bickford in 1:19 in the finals.

Allison Kraemer (122) and Aroma Marruto (127) each finished one spot away from qualifying for state. They advanced to the third-place match but Marruto suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Staley’s Chase Kiel and Kraemer was pinned by Lawson’s Josie Bryant.

Chrisman’s Mary-Mae McMillian (195) also made it to the third-place match but fell short with a loss. McMillian, who qualified for state last season, missed out when she suffered a 4-1 loss to Liberty North’s Kate Grundy.