By RICK PETERSON
Women's wrestling is a relatively new sport, becoming an official Kansas State High School Activities Associaiton activity just two seasons ago, but Shawnee County wrestlers are well on their way to carving out an impressive legacy in the sport, with recent Washburn Rural graduate Dajia Anderson at the top of that list.
Anderson garnered the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 20 list after capturing back-to-back state individual championships and leading the Junior Blues to back-to-back state team crowns.
Another Rural state champ, Rebekah Smith, holds down the No. 2 spot on the Best of the Best list while York College standout and former two-time national champion Marissa Patterson (Shawnee Heights) is No. 3.
Young Rossville phenom Kendra Hurla is No. 4 in the Top 20 after winning a state championship as a freshman while Rural two-time state team champ and two-time state medalist Jaliah Johnson rounds out the top five.
Washburn Rural's Addison Broxterman, a state finalist this past season for the Junior Blues, edged her teammate Anderson for the Readers Choice Award while Rural's Smith ranked third in reader votes.
Here's a look at the Top 20 and Readers Choice Awards:
TSN TOP 20 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S WRESTLERS
1. Dajia Anderson (Washburn Rural) -- Anderson, a 2021 Washburn Rural grad, became the first Shawnee County wrestler to win an official women's state championship in 2020 and the first two-time champ in 2021, leading Rural to back-to-back team championships. Anderson won the 191-pound title this past season after winning at 235 as a junior.
2. Rebekah Smith (Washburn Rural) -- Smith won a state title at 155 pounds as a senior for the Junior Blues after placing third at 170 pounds as a junior. Smith was named the Topeka Shawnee County female winter senior athlete of the year earlier this summer after helping Washburn Rural win two straight state team championships.
3. Marissa Patterson (Shawnee Heights) -- Patterson didn't get the chance to wrestle in official KSHSAA state competition, but was a two-time junior national champion and a six-time junior All-American and was named the Topeka Shawnee County female winter senior athlete of the year. Patterson went on to earn All-Kansas Conference first-team honors for York College.
4. Kendra Hurla (Shawnee Heights) -- Hurla burst on the state scene with a bang as a freshman for Rossville, winning the 120-pound Class 4A-1A state championship for the Bulldawgs, becoming the first girls state wrestling champion in school history.
5. Jaliah Johnson (Washburn Rural) -- Johnson has played a key role in Washburn Rural's back-to-back state team championships, placing third at 170 pounds this past season after a third-place finish at 191 in 2020.
6. Brianna Randles (Topeka West) -- Randles was sidelined last season due to USD 501 COVID-19 restrictions, but Randles was the state runner-up at 130 pounds in the 2020 state meet and was named the outstanding wrestler in the Centennial League meet.
7. Valeria Rivera (Seaman) -- Rivera was a national champion for Ottawa University in the 2016-'17 season and a multi-time All-American.
8. Maranda Bell (Shawnee Heights) -- Bell placed third for Shawnee Heights in the 6A-5A division this past season at 191 pounds.
9. Addison Broxterman (Washburn Rural) -- Broxterman helped Washburn Rural win the 2021 6A-5A state team title by a 26-point margin, placing second at 120 pounds.
10. Lacey Henderson (Washburn Rural) -- Henderson earned first-team All-Kansas Conference honors for Ottawa University and was a national runner-up for the Braves.
11. Ashley Henderson (Washburn Rural) -- Henderson earned All-America honors for Ottawa University and posted a school-record 21 single-season wins in '18.
12. Ellington Hogle (Silver Lake) -- Also an All-State pick in softball and a standout in volleyball, Hogle placed fourth at 132 pounds in 2021 and was named the Topeka Shawnee County female athlete of the year.
13. Hailey Horton (Silver Lake) -- Also a softball standout for the Eagles, Horton placed fourth in the 4A-1A state tournament at 155 pounds.
14. Keera Lacock (Rossville) -- Lacock finished fourth in the 2021 4A-1A state meet at 115 pounds.
15. Amelie Jungwirth (Shawnee Heights) -- The former T-Bird standout placed fourth in the 116-pound division in the inaugural KSHSAA state meet in 2020.
16. Alexis Fredrickson (Washburn Rural) -- Fredrickson helped Rural win the 2021 6A-5A state team championship, finishing fifth at 126 pounds.
17. Rylee Murray (Seaman) -- Murray was named the outstanding wrestler in the 2021 Centennial League meet after winning the 120-pound title.
18. Halley Robinett (Washburn Rural) -- Robinett helped Washburn Rural win the 2020 team championship, placing fifth at 155 pounds.
19. Riley Thompson (Shawnee Heights) -- Thompson was a state medalist in the 2021 6A-5A state tournament for the T-Birds, finishing fifth at 120 pounds.
20. Aaliyah Bueno (Topeka West) -- Bueno was a standout at Topeka West before going on to wrestle at Baker University.
READERS CHOICE AWARDS
1. Addison Broxterman -- No. 9 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
2. Dajia Anderson -- No. 1 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
3. Rebekah Smith -- No. 2 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
4. Hailey Horton -- No. 13 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
5. Alexis Fredrickson -- No. 16 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
6. Jaiden Whitehead -- A member of Silver Lake's wrestling team, finishing her sophomore season in 2020-'21.
7. Ellington Hogle -- No. 12 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
8. (tie) Kendra Hurla -- No. 4 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
8. (tie) Riley Thompson -- No. 19 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
10. Maranda Bell -- No. 8 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
Next up: Men's wrestling Top 25 Best of the Best and Readers Choice Awards.