Girls wrestling places ninth in regionals

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

Manhattan High brought eight girls to the KSHSAA 5A-6A Regional C tournament on Saturday and finished eight with 39 team points and one Regional champ.

“For a first-year program, we only got one going through, but we had three others in that last round to see if they went through or not,” head coach Shawn Bammes said. “So, very happy, especially when they’re all freshmen.” 

Freshman Sage Rosario took the regional championship at in the #155 weight class, making the first Regional championship in MHS girls wrestling history. The MHS newcomer beat No. 2 ranked Jaliah Johnson from Washburn Rural for the second time after joining the team two weeks ago in the semifinals and pinned the No. 1 ranked girl in 6A-5A Grace Timmons from Valley Center in the finals. Rosario is now the favorite going into the State tournament on Feb. 23 and 24. 

“It’s pretty cool,” Rosario said. “They had me ranked second in the region going into that tournament and  I was like ‘I know I’m the best’ so it was cool to just prove that and show everybody.”

Nobody else from Manhattan High placed or qualified for the State tournament, but there were other successes. Freshman Alexis Haeusler made it to the semifinals before being pinned by the No. 6 ranked Evelin Geronimo, who went on to win the tournament. Freshmen #115 Bailey Wright and #126 Hannah Caycedo made it to the last round to qualify for State and lost. Sophomore Kristen Craddock also won a match in the #191 weight class. 

With Regional’s end, the first MHS girls wrestling season is mostly over with the exception of Rosario’s State debut. 

“The good thing with this group is that, for the most part, we have a lot of young kids, a lot of sophomores, a lot of freshmen, that are coming back next year,” Bammes said. “They got a taste of what it’s really like… So now you can see that excitement in their eyes… And they’re ready to do some things in the offseason and get ready to come back for next year.”

Rosario will compete as the sole representative of Manhattan High at The KSHSAA 6A-5A state tournament — classes are combined due to a smaller number of participants than the boys competition — in Wichita on Feb. 23 and 24. In the week before State the boys team will wrestle in their 6A Regional before heading to state on Feb. 25 and 26.