The race for the team title at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Girls Wrestling District 4 tournament was a close one between Kansas City area schools.
In the end, it was Staley High which brought home the team championship Saturday at Oak Park High. Staley won the meet with 119 points – three points ahead of runner-up Fort Osage and 8.5 points ahead of fourth-place Mid-Buchanan.
Staley was one of three teams qualifying four individuals for the state tournament, which begins Feb. 17 at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri. The Falcons were led by a pair of district champions.
Chloe Sheckells won the 110-pound title after going 4-0 at the tournament. She won twice by fall, an 8-3 decision and a 13-3 major decision over Aiva Mayer of Carrollton in the title match. At 130 pounds, Chase Kiel also went 4-0. She won her first two matches by fall before an ultimate tiebreaker, 4-2, victory in the semifinals and a 6-5 win in the finals over Vada Burton of Excelsior Springs.
Staley’s other qualifiers were Lexi Hatfield and Emma Mott. Hatfield went 5-1 and placed third at 120 pounds, with her only loss being a 6-0 decision to Julia Breeden of Liberty in the semifinal. Breedon won the weight class with a pin in the finals. Mott finished fourth with a 3-2 record at 100 pounds. Her three wins all came by pinball.
Fort Osage placed runner-up as a team with three state qualifiers. Haley Ward won the 159-pound championship after going 4-0 in her bracket. She won all four matches by fall – all in less than a minute – with the quickest pin coming in 28 seconds.
Gabriella Doughty placed third at 174 pounds. She went 5-1, winning the third-place match by fall. At 120 pounds, Aroma Marrufo finished with a 4-2 record and placed fourth.
Park Hill had one winner, a pair of runner-ups and a third-place finisher. Angelina Vargas was crowned the 115-pound champion after winning all four matches by fall. She pinned all of her opponents in less than 90 seconds, including a nine-second fall in the second round and a 28-second pin in the title match over Brooke Cox of Lawson.
Allison Gonier (120) and Eve Herlyn (141) both placed second in their respective weight classes. Gonier won two matches by fall and one by an 8-3 decision. All of Herlyn’s matches ended by fall, with her winning four of five matches.
Taryn Johnson finished third at 125 pounds. She went 5-1, with all of her matches ending by fall. She pinned Platte County’s Elizabeth Humburg in 43 seconds in the third-place match.
Mid-Buchanan also sent four competitors to state. The Dragons were led by Delanie Smith’s 100-pound championship. Smith went 4-0, winning two matches by fall, one by technical fall and a 9-1 major decision in the finals.
Layson Hafley placed third at 141 pounds for Mid-Buchanan. All of her six matches ended in fall, with her winning five of them. Haley Sampson (110) and Ariana Hartigan (115) each finished fourth in their weight classes. Sampson went 5-2, while Hartigan finished 3-2 with a pair of byes to begin the tournament.
The remaining district champions were Liberty’s Jaden Breeden (105), Minnetonka’s Madison Leverknight (125), Blue Springs’ Rhian Kempf (135), Park Hill South’s Maddie Kubicki (141), Grain Valley’s Sevreign Aumua (149), Plattsburg’s Payge Fuller (174), Platte County’s KayLyn Munn (194) and William Chrisman’s Kiara Boldridge (235).
– story by Jimmy Gillispie