BUFFS ROUNDUP: Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
It will be a first experience for six Garden City High School girls wrestlers when they head to Salina for the 2020 Kansas All-Class Girls State Wrestling Championship.
The event begins its inaugural year at Tony’s Pizza Events Center on Thursday, Feb. 27, when all classes will be represented in the first ever girls tourney sponsored by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
Headlining the wrestlers for coach Carlos Prieto will be junior Anjelina Serrano, who takes a 32-6 record and a regional title, into the state meet and is among the top four-seeded wrestlers. She earned her way to the state by defeating previously unbeaten Brianna Ridgeway of Great Bend in the McPherson regional final.
Serrano, and five of her teammates, will begin first-round competition at 9 a.m. Thursday, and will wrestle through their respective weight classes with goals of making the medal round.
“I think we’ve got a bunch of girls who have worked extremely hard during the season and have shown great improvement, incredibly coachable and always wanting to improve,” Prieto said of his girls squad. “We were unranked at regionals and finished second, just one point away from first, so I think we’ve established ourselves as a very good team in the state of Kansas.”
Chloe Sullivan (25-12) will compete at 101 pounds; Esmerelda Corado (24-9) is at 116 pounds; Destiny Avila (16-8) will be in the 123-pound division; Belle Hernandez (16-7) qualified at 136 pounds and Alondra Guzman (15-11) advanced in the 155-pound division. Avila is the lone senior on the team.
“We’re very young, and we even had a couple of girls injured who might have had a chance to qualify,” Prieto said. “I certainly like the future of Garden City girls wrestling.”
Serrano is the most likely candidate to battle for a potential individual title, Prieto said.
“She’s definitely in the mix and she proved that in the regionals,” Prieto said. “She can wrestle with the best of them. Her work ethic is second to none, and when she wrestles the boys in practice, they don’t take it easy on her. She just wants to get better every day. She likes to be pushed.”
Prieto talked about the toughness of the girls and complimented them on their willingness to work hard in daily practices, sometimes wrestling against the boys to improve as well as learning techniques from the coaching staff.
“They’ve all been very dedicated and it’s been a fun group to be around,” Prieto said.
Brackets for the girls state tourney are comprised of 12 qualifiers, six from each of the two regionals held two weeks ago.
101: Chloe Sullivan (25-12) vs. Arianna Ortiz (14-3), Kansas City-Turner
116: Esmerelda Corado (24-9) vs. Amelie Jungwirth (29-3), Shawnee Heights
123: Destiny Avila (16-8) vs. Shelby Kesler (23-4), Mission Valley
130: Anjelina Serrano (32-6) vs. bye
136: Belle Hernandez (16-7) vs. Ellington Hogle (19-4), Silver Lake
155: Alondra Guzman (15-11) vs. Halley Robinett (26-6), Topeka-Washburn Rural