Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer
Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

A lot -- in fact virtually everything -- had to go Rossville's way down the stretch if the Bulldawgs were going to have a shot at the Class 4A-1A state girls wrestling team championship.

RossvillewrestlingteampicRossville's girls wrestling team poses for a team picture after winning the Class 4A-1A championship by a half point over Oakley. [Photo by Jeff Reesor]

And that's exactly what happened, with Rossville rallying to claim the school's first state wrestling team title by a scant 82.5-82.0 margin over Oakley while Chanute finished third, just 2.5 points off the winning pace.

“We had to have everything fall our way,'' Bulldawg coach Bryce Gfeller told KSHSAA Covered. "The girls put the hard work in and everything fell into place for them.”

KendraHurlaState 1Rossville senior Kendra Hurla celebrates her fourth state championship after recording a last-second pin Saturday in Salina. [Photo by Rick Peterson Jr./KSHSAA Covered]

Bulldawg 120-pound senior star Kendra Hurla captured her fourth state championship in dramatic fashion, trailing twice in the title match beore pinning Mulvane junior Leiannah Landreth as time expired, picking up decisive bonus points while capping a perfect 38-0 season.

“You have two really good wrestlers going up against each other, fighting for something they’ve worked for their entire season and almost entire life for,” Hurla told KSHSAA Covered.

HaileyHortonState 1Rossville senior Hailey Horton gains the upper hand on the way to a 4-3 win in the Class 4A-1A 155-pound championship match. [Photo by Brent Maycock/KSHSAA Covered]

A few matches later senior Hailey Horton (37-4) earned her first title with a 4-3 decision in the 155-pound final over Oakley's Cali Waggoner in a battle between the two teams that finished one-two in the team standings.

“Nobody told me that if I won or lost, a state title depended on it,” Horton told KSHSAA Covered.

Rossville senior Keera Lacock (37-3) added a fourth-place finish at 115 pounds and the Bulldawgs would not have won without the two match wins from freshman Madelyn Wonnell (34-15), who went 2-2 at 145 pounds.

“This day, I don’t think could have turned out any better,'' Hurla said. "Our girls wrestled amazing and we all had tough competition. We had to get past so many things.
 
“It just blows my mind to have that team title, our first in history, my senior year, it definitely is a fever dream.”

Hurla posted a pair of wins and a 16-0 technical fall in the semifinals before her win over Landreth, who finished her season 36-3.

Horton reached the finals with three straight wins, including a 1:41 pin in the semifinals, before her hard-fought win in the championship match.   

“I was just feeding off other people’s energy who were hyping me up, talking to me and making me feel comfortable because I get stressed easily,” Horton said. “Once I got locked in, I was locked in and I had full confidence I was going to win that match.''
 

 

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