Boys wrestling takes third overall at 6A state as girls fall short to place

Juniors Dillon Cooper and Colin McAlister placed first in their respective weight classes

After+his+losing+his+last+state+match%2C+boys+wrestling+head+coach+Joseph+Lazor+hugs+senior+Eddie+Hughart.

By Centerstage Photography

After his losing his last state match, boys wrestling head coach Joseph Lazor hugs senior Eddie Hughart.

Ian Chern, JagWire copy editor

The girls wrestling team competed at 6A state Thursday, Feb. 23. The girls team fought hard but ultimately fell short and did not place. The boys wrestling team competed at 6A state Saturday, Feb. 25. They placed third overall.

The girls team had three wrestlers at the tournament. Freshman Finley Rose competed in the 105-pound weight class, junior Emily Summa competed in the 110-pound weight class and sophomore Piper Wendler competed in the 120-pound weight class.

Wendler won two matches and scored five team points at the state tournament. She explains how the team qualified for state.

“We all went to the regional meet and we competed in brackets of eight and the top four people got in,” Wendler said. “Three girls qualified so that’s a lot better than last year.”

The boys team had seven wrestlers that placed in the top six in their respective weight classes. Junior Dillon Cooper was state champion in the 126-pound weight class, junior Colin McAlister was state champion in the 150-pound weight class, senior Eddie Hughart placed second in the 132-pound weight class, junior Maddox Casella placed third in the 138-pound weight class, junior Brady Mason placed fifth in the 144-pound weight class, freshman Christopher Wash placed fifth in the 215-pound weight class and senior Sam Imes placed sixth in the 175-pound weight class. 

The boys team needed all the points they could get, narrowly outscoring Manhattan by three team points to place third. Head boys wrestling coach Joseph Lazor believed everyone played an important role at the state tournament. 

“Each wrestler was a crucial part of the team’s success, all twelve guys that qualified,” Lazor said. “The list goes on of wrestlers believing they could win and going out to be great, six minutes at a time.”

The team used their mental game and mindset to their advantage throughout the season to help them improve. 

“We worked a lot the second half of the season to get our routines and rituals down so our mind and body are ready when we step on the wrestling mat,” Lazor said.  “Everyone has practiced each day but how many are working on your mental game? Our guys were ready to scrap and it showed. Growth mindset was our focus and even at the state tournament we were growing.  We weren’t complacent with where we were at and always wanted to improve.  If you can do that in life you will achieve greatness at some point.”

Although the result is not what the girls team had hoped for, members like Wendler look forward to growing girls wrestling. 

“I’m really looking forward to getting more girls interested,” Wendler said. “I think we’re going to get a bunch of freshmen and get more of them qualified [for state].”

The state tournaments wrapped up the season for both wrestling teams. For McAlister, the season has been one to remember.

“Wrestling season has been amazing and everything I could’ve hoped for,” McAlister said. “With an individual state championship and a team trophy, I’d say I reached my goals.”

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