Girls Wrestling: Jefferson City places third as team at districts

WENTZVILLE -- The Jefferson City Lady Jays have three state qualifiers, including a pair of district champions, to pave the way to a third-place finish in the Class 2 District 2 girls wrestling tournament, which was held Friday and Saturday at North Point High School.

Lexi Dunwiddie and Samara Nyatanga each placed first in their respective weight classes, while Kyla Finney also moved on to state with a third-place finish for the Lady Jays. The top-four finishers in each weight class at district advance to the Class 2 state wrestling championships, which will be held Feb. 23-24 at Mizzou Arena.

Jefferson City was third out of 22 teams in the final standings, posting 114 points, two more than Troy-Buchanan. Francis Howell Central cruised to a district team title with 213 points and five individual champions, while Francis Howell was runner-up in the team standings with 126 points.

Dunwiddie, who won a Class 1 state title at 130 pounds last season as a sophomore, posted a 4-0 record at 140 in the two-day district tournament. Dunwiddie won her first three matches by fall to clinch her third straight state berth.

Dunwiddie then won a 3-1 decision in overtime against Rock Bridge’s Socorro Rodriguez in the first-place match, avenging her two regular-season losses to Rodriguez.

Nyatanga went 3-0 at 235 to qualify for state for the first time of her career. Nyatanga won all three matches by first-period pin, including a win by fall in 54 seconds against Troy-Buchanan’s Jeralyn Spear in the title match.

Finney advanced to state for a second straight season with a 3-1 record at 190. Finney, who placed sixth at 190 in Class 1 last season, won by fall in the district quarterfinals, then dropped a 2-1 decision in the semifinal to eventual district champion Alanaha Braun.

Finney then won 2-1 in overtime in the bubble round to clinch her state berth, followed by fall in 1:30 against Troy-Buchanan’s Amber Pennock in the third-place match.

Coming up one win shy of qualifying for state for the Lady Jays were Makinze Hayes at 100, Audrina Houston at 110, Kaylee Redcay at 135 and Ava Purvis at 155.

Hayes went 3-2 with two wins by fall, losing a 5-1 decision in the bubble round, while Houston also posted a 3-2 record with three pins and a 5-3 loss in the consolation semifinals. Purvis had a 3-2 record with two pins before losing by fall in the bubble round and Redcay went 2-2 with one pin and took a medical forfeit in the consolation semifinals.

Also competing for Jefferson City were Caroline Bell (2-2 record with two wins by fall at 170), Mya Davis (1-2 record with a win by decision at 105), Deja’Nette Wallace (1-2 record with a win by fall at 145) and Olivia Weis (0-2 record at 130).