By Brennan Stebbins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
There were nearly two dozen schools represented at Saturday’s District 5 girls wrestling tournament in McDonald County.
Lebanon was clearly the best.
The Yellowjackets coaching staff spent a good chunk of the afternoon at the podium handing out medals as one Lebanon wrestler after another came out on top. When it was over Lebanon had seven individual champions and 13 sectional qualifiers. The Yellowjackets won the team title by 131 points.
“I think we had four first seeds so we wrestled better than what we were seeded,” head coach Randy Roark said. “That’s always a good day. This is I think the toughest district and to come out getting 13 through, it sets us up good for next week.”
Kaylyn Rogers (117 pounds), Bailey Joiner (127), Quincey Glendenning (132), Dream Cunningham (137), Taylor Johnson (143), Ali Haiser (159) and Mariyah Brumley (235) all earned individual titles.
Rogers (35-2) had perhaps the most thrilling win of the day with a last-second reversal for a 2-1 victory in the finals. Joiner (37-4) won by fall in 4:49 in the finals. Glendenning (37-2) and Cunningham (21-3) each won by injury default in the first-place bouts and combined for five falls in their other matches. Johnson (38-2) had three falls. Haiser remained unbeaten at 37-0 and had three falls, including two in 21 seconds or less. Brumley (31-3) pinned her only two opponents.
Three other Yellowjackets wrestled in championship matches and finished second: McKenzie Gormley at 102 pounds, Lillian Cottongim at 107 and Halea Bartel at 122. The team’s other sectional qualifiers were Adeline Cottongim (third place) at 112 pounds, Addi Segebarth (third) at 151 and MaKenna Lucas (fourth) at 195.
“We’ll see how they go next week and hopefully we can take all of those girls to state,” Roark said.
Saturday’s win marked the third-straight district title for Lebanon, which claimed the District 3 championship the last two seasons. Lebanon won the state championship in 2019.
Glendenning was a state champion in 2019. Cunningham is a two-time state medalist. Joiner also qualified last year.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE TOURNAMENT
Marshfield, Cassville each qualify eight wrestlers for sectional
Marshfield spent the early part of Saturday lurking in third place, but by the time the championship and consolation semifinals were completed the Blue Jays had overtaken the Wildcats for second.
The schools combined for just two individual champions but 16 sectional qualifiers.
Marshfield’s champion came at 174 pounds where Kiana Massie (31-4) pinned Cassville’s Ryleigh Burnette in 53 seconds. Massie earned a major decision in the semifinals.
Three other Marshfield wrestlers earned spots in championship matches but finished second. Rozalyn Richerson (29-7) placed second at 112 pounds, Kylie Martin (27-3) was second at 195 and Leanna Merrell (27-5) was second at 235.
Rylee Wilson took third at 127 pounds and Trinity Lesser was third at 159. Ariaha Mcillwain placed fourth at 137 and Macie James was fourth at 143.
“Most of our girls wrestled to their seed or above what they were seeded,” Marshfield coach Adam Wright said. “We had two girls not seeded in the top four and they beat higher seeds to get in the top four and go to sectionals with Macie James and Ariaha Mcillwain. We’ve got stuff to work on but it’s our first district plaque we’ve ever received and we have our first district champion in Marshfield girls wrestling history so for the most part I’m happy for our girls.”
Wright cautioned his qualifiers not to settle for a spot in the sectional tournament “because the ultimate goal is to make it to state.”
Cassville’s lone champion was Annie Moore (28-1) who beat Marshfield’s Richerson at 112 pounds in just 24 seconds. She added a technical fall in the semifinals and a 14-second fall in the quarterfinal round.
Other Wildcat qualifiers were Kelsey Harris (second) at 117 pounds, Kailey Artherton (third) at 122, Hailey Roark (third) at 132, Faith James (third) at 137, Ryleigh Burnette (third) at 174, Zoey Stanton (fourth) at 102 and Taylor Glidewell (fourth) at 235.
West Plains, Nixa lead rest of the pack
West Plains got six wrestlers into third-place matches to qualify for sectionals. Two of them won. Lillien Ingram won by fall in 4:54 in the third-place match at 143 pounds and Akasha Davis won by fall in 2:14 at 235. The team’s fourth-place qualifiers were Natalie Stewart at 122, Lianna Ward at 132, Emily Howell at 151 and Brynn Watson at 174.
Nixa was the only school other than Lebanon with multiple district champions to its credit.
Returning state champion Ashlyn Eli remained perfect (36-0) while winning at 102 pounds with a 51-second fall in the semifinals and another pin in 1:27 in the championship match.
Brenya Crahan hiked her record to 40-3 while taking first at 122. She earned a technical fall (18-2) in the first-place match.
The Eagles had a total of five sectional qualifiers. Harmony Rust, a sixth-place state finisher, took third at 195, Micah Ballew was fourth at 107 and Emily Thomassen was fourth at 117.
Other sectional qualifiers
Branson had three sectional qualifiers: Erin Bohmont at 127, Neah Finkbone at 132 and Brianna Bettis at 137. Finkbone and Bettis each suffered injury defaults in their championship matches. Bohmont lasted 4:49 against Lebanon’s Joiner.
McDonald County had two qualifiers in Jaslyn Benhumea (third at 102) and Gisel Aragon (fourth at 159). Seneca also had a pair of qualifiers and one winner. Kirsten Bruegel was the 151-pound champion and improved to 26-3 with a fall in 1:15. She pinned both opponents on Saturday. At 174, Isabella Renfro took third.
Monett and Central were the only other schools with district champions. Monett’s Abigail Jastal (35-3) took first at 107 pounds with two falls and a 10-4 decision. Central’s Catherine Dutton (29-1) won at 195 pounds with three falls.
Carl Junction’s Shiloh Sluder placed third at 117 pounds. Diamond’s Josey Crisp was fourth at 112. Glendale’s Taidym Harden was third at 107. Joplin’s Erika Washom placed fourth at 127. Kickapoo’s Mia Daugherty was second at 143. Reeds Spring’s Alexis Harris was second at 159. And Willard’s Lexi Adams was second at 151.
West Plains 86
McDonald County 28
Reeds Spring 18
Carl Junction 16
Webb City 0