View and purchase more photos from this event by clicking here.
INDEPENDENCE — The Chanute Blue Comets returned from the Southeast Kansas League Girls Wrestling Championships Tuesday with a second straight title, thanks to six individual first place finishes from the squad.
“I thought we wrestled really well tonight,” Chanute head coach Nick Nothern said. “We’ve been pushing really hard the last few weeks, and a bunch of these girls had the best tournament all year. We were offensive, we were finishing our shots, we were tough on top, moving on bottom, so I was really happy overall.”
Six Blue Comets finished atop their bracket, two finished runner-up and four Chanute wrestlers finished fourth. Nothern repeatedly noted that these matches were won in the wrestling room and cardio sessions leading up to the event.
“Wrestling is a sport where the people that put in the work, typically come out on top. It's hard trying to get them motivated, but they bought into it,” Nothern said. “They’ve bought into the philosophy that hard work does pay off.”
Though Chanute had seen some of their competition before Tuesday, Nothern was surprised to see a lot of fresh matchups due to not meeting up with certain wrestlers at mixers and tournaments.
Kadynce Axelson posted three falls en route to her league title at 120 pounds. The fifth-ranked wrestler finished her first match in just 40 seconds.
Reese Clements followed that up with a similar performance, though she received a first round bye. The fourth-ranked Clements tallied a 45-second fall in her first match.
With Fort Scott’s sixth-ranked Gabby Rusk missing from the league meet, Grace Thompson easily earned gold at 130 pounds. Thompson tallied a pair of falls, before claiming a major decision in the waning seconds of the championship bout.
“Even when we had matches won, we were still continuing to score points,” Nothern said. “Grace getting a turn with six seconds left to get a major (decision) is huge.”
At 155 pounds, Brinly Bancroft had the quickest three matches of the tournament, tallying three falls in just over two minutes.
Kiley Dillow also went undefeated with three pins on the day. After a pair of first-period wins, Dillow knocked off Fort Scott’s third-ranked Brylie Schaub in the final match of the day.
“First-year wrestler winning the SEK and getting a win on an upperclassmen, that should give her some confidence going into regionals,” Nothern said.
Sequoia Keever rounded out the Chanute champions, claiming her title at 235 pounds by way of a three-way tiebreaker.
Jarynn Hockett (105 pounds) and Madison Dutro (190 pounds) earned runner-up finished with a record of 2-1.
With their regular 190-pound wrestler — Lena Aguilar — out with a concussion, Nothern was proud of Dutro’s performance.
“Having a little depth at some of these weights and having those girls ready to step up when they’re needed – that’s huge,” Nothern said.
Ella Guernsey (100 pounds) notched a third place finish going 1-2, while Marlee Miller (135 pounds) finished fourth with a mark of 2-2.
“She had a breakout day. She beat some girls who had better records than her,” Nothern said. “She’s getting better so quickly that I think she’s gonna upset and surprise some people this weekend.”
The Blue Comets will look to punch their ticket to the state tournament this Saturday, when they head to Coffeyville for the KSHSAA Class 4-1A Regional Championships.
“Believing what we do on a day-to-day basis (is our key to success),” Nothern said. “Sleep, nutrition, effort, attitude — all the things we can control — are imperative going forward in the postseason. We’ve talked about how to get mentally prepared for the postseason, so that when we go out and wrestle on Saturday we’re ready to fly.”
100: 3rd - Ella Guernsey (1-2)
105: 2nd - Jarynn Hockett (2-1)
110: 4th - Yose Garnica (1-2)
120: 1st - Kadynce Axelson (3-0)
125: 1st - Reese Clements (3-0)
130: 1st - Grace Thompson (3-0)
135: 4th - Marlee Miller (2-2)
140: 4th - Jeanette Guernsey (1-2)
145: 4th - Willow Vaughn (0-2)
155: 1st - Brinly Bancroft (3-0)
170: 1st - Kylie Dillow (3-0)
190: 2nd - Madison Dutro (2-1)
235: 1st - Sequoia Keever (1-1)
Team Scores: Chanute 186, Fort Scott 130, Pittsburg 101, Coffeyville 89.5, Independence 87, Labette County 86
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.