COLUMBIA — Versailles junior Alana May was one of 24 wrestlers vying to make history Saturday night in the Class 1 girls state wrestling championships — the first of its kind — at Mizzou Arena.
She was just a push away from becoming one of the 12 state champions. Instead, her opponent pushed back.
Kearney sophomore Lexie Cole won by fall in 1:38 against May to win the state championship at 235 pounds, the final girls match of the evening.
"I feel like I should've tried harder, because I know I can do so much more," May said.
It didn't take long for May to have the upper hand. She score a takedown against Cole just 10 seconds into the match, then followed that with a 3-point nearfall to lead 5-0 with 1:43 still showing on the clock in the first period.
"If I would have just pushed her head a little higher, I would have definitely pinned her for sure," said May, who recorded all of her wins this season by fall.
Cole found an answer, getting an escape with 1:30 left, then scored a takedown with :55 remaining to draw closer at 5-3. Before long, Cole got May onto her back and finished the match with her fourth straight pin of the state tournament.
"It's not often I'm on the bottom," May said. "I told my coach that I need to work a little harder next year on bottom."
Cole, ranked No. 2 at 235 by MissouriWrestling.com, finished the season with a 29-2 record.
May, ranked No. 3, ended the year at 18-2.
"I really wanted to go for gold, but I understand that there's always next year," May said.
School of the Osage junior Abbey Cordia also became a first-time state medalist, finishing in third place at 131.
Cordia won by fall in 4:02 against Marceline's Baylee Jobson in the fourth-round wrestlebacks. Unlike the boys brackets, Cordia needed to win that match to become a state medalist, as only the top-four wrestlers in each 12-person bracket medaled for the girls.
"It was a tough mindset, thinking if I don't win this match that I'm not going to place," Cordia said.
Cordia then won the third-place match by fall in 4:07 against second-ranked Genevieve Nickelson of Ste. Genevieve.
Cordia finished the season with a 21-2 record.
Lebanon won the Class 1 team championship with 87 points, followed by Lafayette: Wildwood in second place with 81 points. Ste. Genevieve took third with 56.5 points and McCluer North was fourth with 49.
Versailles finished 15th while Osage tied for 23rd with 21 points.