By Chris Parker
Buffalo’s Lizzie Miller made history on Saturday by becoming southwest Missouri’s first two-time girls state wrestling champion. She beat Harrisonville’s Chloe Herrick 5-1 in overtime to win the 115-pound championship
“It feels amazing. I can’t even describe the feeling,” Miller said.
Miller pinned Herrick at districts just two weeks ago, but faced a much tougher match this time around.
“I had pinned her at districts, so I knew she was going out there to fight and that it was going to be a tough match, but as soon as I got that reversal and near-fall I knew I had it,” Miller said.
Miller scored her first point via escape with 22 second left in the second period. The match tied with eight seconds left in the third period due to a penalty. The match remained scoreless until Miller earned a reversal and a two-point nearfall with six seconds to go in the second overtime to win 5-1.
Miller completed her senior season with a record of 38-1 overall.
It has been along high school journey for Miller who started her career wrestling the boys and qualifying for boys state as a freshman.
“I feel like I have come so far. I was looking back watching the boys wrestle today just knowing I was down there and I was the only girl that year,” Miller said. “It makes me feel great being able to represent my school and my coaches and everything I have worked for. I feel like I have come a long way.”
Nixa’s Eli scores fastest pin
The first match of finals saw history being made by Nixa sophomore Ashlyn Eli. Eli won the first match of finals via pin in just 45 seconds. Her win at 103 pounds helped her earn Nixa’s first girls state championship.
The second-fastest pin of the girls finals was in 92 seconds.
For Eli, she tried to treat the match like any other.
“It still feels like a normal tournament for me, but being a state champion is wonderful,” Eli said. “Just work on the same technique and wrestle like you have been wrestling.”
Eli finishes the season with an overall record of 36-1.
Nixa was the area’s top finisher in the team race at seventh place with 53 points.
GIRLS CONSOLATION RESULTS
110 – 3rd Place – Ashlynn Loechner (Lebanon) 42-6 won by fall over Mia Reed (Washington) 38-3 (Fall 0:56)
125 – 3rd Place – Payge Fuller (Plattsburg) 32-6 won by fall over Kirsten Fugitt (Nixa) 28-12 (Fall 2:29)
135 – 5th Place – Hannah Oconnor (Rolla) 34-4 won by fall over Olivia Chapman (Eldon) 33-8 (Fall 0:34)
142 – 5th Place – Antionna Cunningham (Lebanon) 40-7 won by fall over Rachel Rellihan (Fort Osage) 33-10 (Fall 3:56)
166 – 5th Place – Ava Miller (Truman) 33-5 won by decision over Harmony Rust (Nixa) 33-8 (Dec 10-7)
235 – 5th Place – Ryli Arney (Fulton) 31-10 won by decision over Claire Pritchett (Nevada) 17-13 (Dec 8-1)