Boys wrestling second in league, girls fifth

Newcomer Sage Rosario takes first girls wrestling league championship for MHS

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

Both boys and girls teams placed at the Centennial League tournament on Saturday, with girls taking fifth and boys taking second out of nine teams. The boys fell behind Washburn Rural as they have the past three years, with 149 team points compared to Rural’s 190 team points.

“It’s not the result that we were wanting but it’s a step up from where we were when we started out the season,” senior Tucker Brunner said. “Our whole team did pretty well. We have some improvements to make.”

The girls team had one league champion, #155 freshman Sage Rosario, who was also awarded Centennial League Newcomer of the Year. Rosario is a state champion from Alabama who moved to Manhattan a week ago, with the Centennial League being her first tournament wrestling for MHS. She beat the second-ranked wrestler in 6A/5A Washburn Rural’s Jaliah Johnson in the finals by fall in the third period. 

“I was really just like, ‘wow,’  because it was so unexpected since it was my first tournament wrestling for Manhattan,” Rosario said. “It was a really cool experience.”

This year was Centennial League’s first girls tournament, making Rosario the first MHS girls league champion in program history. Other girls who placed included freshmen #101 Alexis Haeusler, #115 Bailey Wright and #126 Hannah Caycedo who all took fourth.

“I was really proud of all the members of my team because not only were they hyping me up, making sure I was ready for my wrestling matches, but you could really see all the love that they have for each other and… the drive that they had to win,” Rosario said. “So I was really proud to see that.”

The boys team had three league champions, six finalists and 10 medalists out of 14 wrestlers. Seniors #138 Easton Taylor, #152 Tucker Brunner and #220 Talique Houston all took home league championships, making Taylor’s third consecutive title but first for Houston and Brunner. 

“It feels great,” Brunner said. “I should have taken it last year, but things happen. I’m just working to go for my state title now. It was a big accomplishment, but I have bigger ones in mind.”

Other medalists included runners-up senior #113 Janzten Borge, senior #145 Blaisen Bammes and junior #195 Jaxon Vikander. Freshman #170 Landon Dobson took third — his first medal of the year — along with sophomore #126 Jameal Agnew. Sophomore #132 Jackson Radi and senior #182 TJ Tiede placed fourth. 

The girls head to regionals next week to compete in Topeka against some of the top-ranked teams in the state including Derby, Emporia and Washburn Rural, while the boys wait until Feb. 20 to take on their equally competitive regional tournament.