It's been a tough season physically for Damon Parker's vaunted Washburn Rural's girls wrestling program, with multiple returning state placers out for the season and other top Junior Blues missing significant mat time.

DamonParkerSeamanDamon Parker's Washburn Rural girls wrestling team has fought through injuries to win three tournaments this winter, including Friday's Lady Vikes Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Ruralwrestlingteampic 1Washburn Rural's girls wrestling team poses for a team picture after winning the championship in Friday's Lady Vikes Invitational at Seaman. [Washburn Rural women's wrestling]

Junior Blues 2023 Class 6A-5A state medalists Madison Davison (fourth at 145), Ashley Schwarz (fourth at 155) and Sophia Ross (fifth at 235) are all out for the season while Annie Gallegos (fourth at 120) just wrestled her first meet of the season at Seaman and Laiken Clark (fifth at 130) missed the the Seaman meet with an ankle injury.

But despite their injury woes, the three-time state champions, who have never finished lower than second at state, continue to win, including their third team championship of the season in last Friday's Lady Vikes Invitational at Seaman (274-247 over Hays).

And Rural's expectations remain the same, to be a factor in next month's state tournament at Park City.

"The margin of error in wrestling is so slim,'' Parker said. "If you look at last year's results, we placed first by 12 points. That's one sixth-place finisher. Then you lose Addison Broxterman and Alexis Fredrickson (to graduation), two of the best to ever do it, and then four other placers on top of that and it's like, 'OK, we've got some points to make up there.'

"We knew we had our work cut out for us coming into this year, but we won't leave any bullets left in the chamber. We'll come out swinging and give the best we've got.''

 Parker credits several varsity newcomers and returners who have stepped into more prominent roles for helping keep the Rural ship afloat.

 "We don't call it varsity and JV, we call it varsity and second varsity and third varsity,'' Parker said. "We tell them we might have 60 kids on the team but only 14 of you can be first varsity wrestlers. We won't have any JV wrestlers on the team, we'll have varsity wrestlers that are wrestling at the JV level but there's an important distinction there I think because that way when kids do get slid into that top spot then they're ready to go.''

Washburn Rural had three individual champions at Seaman, with junior Molly Spader winning the 105-pound title, junior Maddy Blow the 115-pound champ and senior TaAni Rhoten the winner in the 170-pound division.

Spader improved to 17-2 with an 8-2 decision in her final match while Blow (14-6) won a title on a 6-4 decision and Rhoten (18-1) posted a pin in 2:51.

Rhoten was named outstanding wrestler in the Seaman event.

"She's always wrestled up a weight, sometimes two for us just because of the way our lineup worked,'' Parker said of Rhoten. "This year she's wrestling her actual weight and her only loss this year came to the girl that is ranked third in the state and that was a one-point last-second loss so she's that close.

"If she won a state title here in a couple of months I would not be the least bit surprised.''

The Junior Blues also got runnerup finishes from sophomore Lacey Middleton (120), sophomore Madison Blanco (135), sophomore Emmerson Blanco (140), senior Fatima Escobar (145) and sophomore Elia Smith (190) and thirds from junior Annie Gallegos (125), senior Emily Funk (155) and freshman Eve Luea (235).

"The Blanco twins have really stepped up,'' Parker said. "They both got a taste of varsity action last year but they're full-time this year and both of them have great records. We've got Lacey Middleton who's a first-year wrestler with the program and we anticipate her being a state placer this year.''

The Junior Blues also have some extra motivation after not being listed in the top 10 in 6A-5A in the most recent state rankings.

"This is the first time in our history that we have not been ranked and that's perfect,'' Parker said. "When the last rankings came out a couple of weeks ago before Christmas break, and they didn't have us in the top 10, I said, 'Girls, I've got something historic to show you.'

"We put it up on the projector and they were like, 'They forgot us,' and I was like, 'No, they didn't.' It was exactly what we needed and we've had the best couple weeks of practice we've had in a long time.''

Host Seaman finished fourth as a team in Friday's tournament, led by junior 130-pound champion Koti Best, who improved to 15-0 on the season. Best won her title with a pin in 1 minute, 44 seconds in the final.

The Vikings also got a second-place finish from junior Natalie Smith (110) while senior Ellie Ayres (100) and junior Taylie Heston (120) posted third-place finishes.

Topeka High junior Ingrid Cabrera was the runnerup at 100 pounds, leading the Trojans to a sixth-place team finish in the 12-team tournament.

Rural boys take Seaman Duals championship

Washburn Rural's boys went a perfect 5-0 to claim the team championship in Saturday's Seaman Duals tournament, with six Junior Blues going undefeated on the day.

Rural took a 44-34 win over Hays, a 76-6 win over Seaman B, a 43-27 decision over Lansing, a 44-33 win over Seaman and a 50-27 victory over Pittsburg.

Rural's Ryder Harrison (106), Easton Broxterman (132), Landen Kocher-Munoz (138), Kristjan Marshall (150), Brody Byrne (157) and Chase Calhoon (165) also posted 5-0 records on the day.

Broxterman posted five straight pins, including four between 24 seconds and 1:16, while Byrne also registered five pins.

Host Seaman finished third as a team, posting wins over Seaman B (84-0), Lansing (39-38) and Pittsburg (54-27). The Vikings dropped matches against Rural and Hays (60-16).

SHeightswrestlingNorth 2Shawnee Heights' wrestling team poses for a team picture after the T-Bird boys finished first and the girls second in the Wichita Noth Invitational. [Shawnee Heights wrestling]

T-Bird boys claim team title in Wichita North tournament

Shawnee Heights picked up four individual titles Saturday on the way to the team championship in the 11-school Wichita North Invitational by a 201-185 margin over Olathe West.

The T-Birds got individual championships from 126-pound Brody Brown, 150-pound sophomore Gavin Hartman, 157-pound sophomore Evan Johnson and 175-pound senior Allen Baughman.

Brown, 11-7 on the season, posted a 50-second pin over Wichita North senior Orlando Watley in the 126 final while Hartman (10-8) took an 8-3 decision over Wichita East's Joseph Profit in the 150 final, Johnson (17-5) pinned Andover sophomore Brecken Bell in 1:55 at 157 and Baughman (17-4) took a 16-4 major decision over Wichita North Noe Alvarado at 175 pounds.

Shawnee Heights also got runnerup finishes sophomore Tristan Buce (106 pounds), senior Andrew Bonebrake (138), junior Kael Westgate (165) and senior Rykan Carver (285).

Heights' girls finished second as a team at Wichita North, with Derby taking the title by a 204-192 margin over the T-Birds.

Shawnee Heights got individual titles from junior 125-pounder Reece Taylor, 130-pound junior Isabel Reyes and 145-pound senior McKenna Haltom

Taylor (13-4) recorded a pin in 2:18 over over Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Vy Le-Do in her final while Reyes (14-2) pinned Kapaun Mt. Carmel junior Aalyra Arguelles in 30 seconds and Haltom (15-2) took a 2-1 decision over Wichita Southeast junior Sydney Taylor. 

The T-Birds also got second-place finish from sophomore Connie Burns (105) and sophomore Cianna Graves (155).

Silver Lake boys second at Burlington

Silver Lake's boys finished second as a team in the Burlington Invitational, with Baldwin taking the title by a 191.5-167 margin over the Eagles.

Silver Lake got individual titles from sophomore 106-pounder Bryce Cormier (13-3) and 126-pound sophomore Garrett Holmes (12-4).

Cormier recorded a pin in 3:25 in his final while Holmes won his title with a 12-10 decision.

Silver Lake junior Jayden Waterer (132) finished second while junior Trent Harris (150) and senior Blake Redmond (157) took third.

Silver Lake's girls finished fifth as a team in the Lady Cat Invitational, with four Eagles posting top-three finishes.

Freshman Riley Mohler (115), junior Ellen Doty (120) and sophomore Makayla Conner (145) all posted runnerup finishes while junior Karley Holmes (110) finished third.

Bulldawg trio earns title in Rossville Girls Invitational

Rossville senior wrestling stars Keera Lacock, Kendra Hurla and Hailey Horton all won individual championships in the Rossville Invitational as the Bulldawgs finished fourth as a team in the 22-school field.

Lacock, 17-0 on the season, won the 115-pound title while Hurla (17-1) won at 120 pounds and Horton (16-3) won the 155-pound championship.

Lacock won by a 6-2 deision in her title match while Hurla won with a pin at the 2:22 mark and Horton posted a 55-second win.

Rossville also a third-place finish from freshman Madelyn Wonnell (145).

Hayden finished seventh as a team, with senior Elaina Wolff fourth at 100 pounds and sophomore Katie Mead fourth at 120.

Hayden's finished seventh in the Rossville boys tournament, led by 144-pound champion Caleb Menke (14-1) and 165-pound runnerup Jude Krentz (12-2).

Rossville got second-place finishes from freshman 126-pound runnerup Remi Droegemeier and senior 215-pound runnerup Barrett Lietz. 

Williamson, Johnson pace Trojans to fourth-place finish

Sophomore Rehabiah Williamson and junior Detrick Johnson won individual titles in the Joel Rios Invitational at Shawnee Mission South, leading Topeka High to a fourth-place team finish in the 15-school tournament.

Williamson, 17-2 on the season, was the 150-pound champion while Johnson (16-5) won the 215-pound championship.

Williamson won on a 7-0 decision in his title match over senior Adrian Aguirre of Oak Park, Mo. while Johnson posted a 59-second pin over junior Ryan Edwards in his final.

The Trojans got second-place finishes from sophomore Jordan Stiner (138) and junior Nick Davis (165) while sophomore Jesus Morales (106) and freshman Landon Snyder (157) finished third.

Highland Park's girls finished sixth at SM South, led by individual runnerup from junior 100-pounder Kimberly Rodriguez, who improved to 8-2 on the season.

The Scots also got third-place finishes from junior Kylisha James (170) and sophomore Makaya Conner (190).

Topeka West was led by senior Nephtali Lenth, who finished second at 105 pounds.






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