BELLEFONTAINE — The Washington Lady Lion wrestling team traveled to Bellefontaine for the Iron Maiden two-day tournament.
Head coach Wes Gibbs spoke about the experience.
“We had probably the best weekend as a team that we have ever had. We had this on the schedule last year, but with it being such a strong tournament and us being very young, I didn’t want to throw our team to the wolves. This year it felt different from the start, so we scheduled it.”
At 110 pounds, Leah Marine placed third.
“She made it to the quarterfinals but was beaten 5-2 to put her in the consolation bracket,” Gibbs said. “From there, she went on a tear. In the consolation quarterfinals, she met up with two-time state placer and three-time state qualifier in senior Kacey Wells. She wrestled a complete match. In double overtime she rode her opponent out and secured the victory. The next round she beat Mia Skinner of Hillsboro 6-4, with a last second takedown and two swipes for back points. For third, she had to face the same opponent she had lost to in the quarterfinals and again rose up and knocked her off 10-3 in dominating fashion.”
Lyndyn Gibbs placed third at 120 pounds. She got into the semifinals without much of a struggle but then came across her only loss of the year, to Laci Knick in a tough match. She battled back in the consolation semifinals and won by pin the rest of the way.
Gibbs is now at 62 career wins against girls and 69 wins total for high school.
Alicia Navarette placed sixth. “She wrestled her tail off again,” said Gibbs. “She pinned her way to the semifinals, knocking off a couple of great athletes. She met up with Malia Burkhardt in the semifinals and lost by pin. The only girls that she lost to this weekend were ranked high in the state. She is beating who she’s supposed to beat, now we’ve got to fine tune her technique and set a goal of scoring a little more.”
Brooklyn Wade finished in third. Gibbs spoke about Wade’s performance.
“She is giving up anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds per match, but that makes us a little more athletic. Brooklyn got a quality win against a girl from Archbold that is currently ranked 17th in the state. Her only loss was to number-two ranked Karlie Harlow from Greeneview. She came in still a little out of wrestling shape and got us some much-needed team points.”
Gibbs talked about the youth of the Lady Lion roster.
“With the exception of Brooklyn and Lyndyn, the girls have only been wrestling for a year or two, maximum. We have Lauren Joseph, a sophomore, who works super hard in the room, but the quality of wrestling at 115 pounds is outstanding. We have Janessa Ayler, who is three months into the sport, wrestling against girls that go to Fargo on a regular basis.”
The Lady Lions placed seventh as a team with six wrestlers in total, finishing ahead of some programs that brought 10-12 ladies.
Gibbs finished, “We beat Findlay, a team that wrestled in the state duals. I have no doubt that when we have those injured wrestlers back like Kaylee Scott and Mariah Campbell, we could compete for those top three spots at every tournament.”
The Lady Lions are back in action on Saturday at West Union High School in the Lady Dragon Tournament.