Youngsters five, six and seven years old are already bringing home hardware.
Last Sunday, the Ottawa Mat Masters youth wrestling club had seven compete at the 6U State Tournament in Salina’s Tony’s Pizza Event Center. Six wrestlers earned medals, including one state champion.
Sailor Wilson, 6, has already been wrestling for three years and on Sunday took home the title belt in the 6U 55-pound weight class. Teammates Travis Barraclough, 7, and Gunnar Jung, 6, both earned runner-up places in the 43-pound and 58-pound weight classes, respectively. Barraclough has been wrestling for three years and this was Jung’s first year on the mat.
First-year wrestlers Zayne Wieneke, 5, and Rece Long, 6, also earned state medals. Wieneke placed third in the 37-pound weight class and Long finished sixth in the 80-pound weight class. Landon Nicholson placed seventh in the 53-pound weight class, and Bo Beers was Ottawa’s seventh state wrestler, competing in the 43-pound weight class.
When asked what Wilson hopes to do when state comes around next year, he said, “I’m going to try to get another first place.” His teammates echoed his statements, all shooting for the top spot on the podium and the title belt next season.
“First or nothing,” Long said. “I want to kick some butt next year.”
6U State Tournament (Ottawa Mat Masters results)
First place - 6U 55 Sailor Wilson
Second place - 6U 43 Travis Barraclough; 6U 58 Gunnar Jung
Third place - 6U 37 Zayne Wieneke
Sixth place - 6U 80 Rece Long
Seventh place - 6U 53 Landon Nicholson
Wrestled with heart and effort - 6U 43 Bo Beers
Elementary State Dual Team Qualifier- Sunday in Salina:
Eighth place - 50 lb Waylon Courtois 3-3
Wrestled hard and tough but came up short - 55 lb Chase Courtois 2-2; 65 lb Trenten Barraclough 3-2; 70 lb Logan Courtois 2-2; 70 lb Cole Mader 2-2.
War of the Roses Girls Open- Sunday in McPherson:
Elementary 3rd-5th grade 55-59 lbs-
Fourth place - Chloe Chenoweth
Elementary 3rd-5th grade 79-82 lbs-
Third place - Destanie Larson
Middle School 6th-8th grade 111-113 lbs-
Third place - Dakota Konzem
Middle School 6th-8th grade 130-136 lbs-
Fourth place - Elena Moss