Home Sports Le Mars Girls Wrestling Qualifies Five to State

Le Mars Girls Wrestling Qualifies Five to State

The Le Mars girls wrestling team made some more history on Friday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City. The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union hosted their first ever sanctioned regional wrestling tournaments with the Bulldogs qualifying five wrestlers to this week’s state wrestling tournament in Coralville. Those five are; Keira Hessenius (105 pounds), Kylie Hessenius (110 pounds), Bailey Brady (120 pounds), Kerene Panya (145 pounds), and Savanna Salen (155 pounds).

It was a long day of wrestling for everyone at the tournament. The wrestlers began weigh-ins at 9:00 AM and wrestled all the way through the afternoon into the early evening. Le Mars head coach Greer Milledge says his team kept battling all the way through the day and some were rewarded with trips to state.

That fight was great to see for Milledge who says he saw a lot of emotion come out during the tournament. Girls who were sad because the season ended, or girls who were elated because their season is continuing. He says that emotion shows their commitment to the program and its betterment over the next few years.

Of the five qualifiers to state, sophomore Keira Hessenius was the only one to win her bracket at 105 pounds. She rolled her way to wins by pin in the first two rounds and then won the championship bout in a 7-3 decision. Hessenius says it is a special feeling being part of the first group of state qualifiers for the Bulldogs.

Hessenius credits her confidence for her success. She says that confidence fuels her to be at her best on the biggest stage.

The Tyson Events Center was definitely a different venue than anything the Bulldogs have wrestled in all season. The place was full and chaotic all day with eight mats going simultaneously throughout much of the day. Coach Milledge says this unique environment will hopefully prepare the girls for the atmosphere that will be presented in Coralville.

The wrestling in Coralville begins on Thursday and goes until Friday in the inaugural girls state wrestling tournament. Hessenius says, to continue her success at state, she needs to remain confident, and the rest will take care of itself.

Coach Milledge echoed that for the other four wrestlers advancing to the state tournament. Confidence plus small improvements can make a big difference at this point in the season.

The girls state wrestling tournament gets started at 9:00 AM on Thursday at Xtream Arena in Coralville.