Dodge City girls win first Christmas Clash in Great Bend

Dodge City's Ariana De La Rosa got a late take down against Great Bend's Daizy Gomez to win the...
Dodge City's Ariana De La Rosa got a late take down against Great Bend's Daizy Gomez to win the 125-pound championship Saturday in Great Bend. The pair wrestled in the consolation finals at state to end last season.((photo by Mike Courson))
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 6:08 PM CST
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GREAT BEND, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Girls wrestling continues to grow in the state of Kansas. Friday and Saturday, Great Bend High School got a little festive with the state’s first non-state two-day girls’ wrestling tournament. The event featured 29 schools from all classifications. And of course some Christmas trees and Christmas music.

“We want to make this a premiere event every year, which is why we named it the Christmas Clash,” said Great Bend coach Nathan Broeckelman. “It’s excited to see all these girls come in to battle it out and prepare for the upcoming season.”

Not only was the competition top-notch - the field was originally supposed to include 33 teams, including several of the state’s best - but it’s also a preview of a multi-day event the girls previously only experienced at state.

“Boys have always had two-day tournaments,” Broeckelman said. “It’s not a huge deal to weigh-in two nights in a row. The only time really on the girls’ side you have to weight-in two nights in a row is you have a dual, then a tournament. Our girls had a dual Thursday, then a two-day tournament, so they got to see what it’s like to hold your weight and compete well.”

Dodge City won the Class 6-5A state title last year and entered this season ranked No. 1. The Lady Demons scored 242 points to win the inagural Christmas Clash. The Western Athletic Conference dominated the meet with Garden City scoring 218 points for second, Hays placed third with 168 points, and the host Panthers finishing fourth with 167 points.

Dodge City senior Jasmin Beltran opened championship matches with the win at 100 pounds. Liberal’s Keirsie Carlile had to forfeit the match due to concussion protocol. Liberal senior Mana Chanthasome finished third at state last year and was ranked No. 2 at 100 pounds. She pinned Dodge City’s second-ranked Jessica Rivera for the title at 105 pounds.

Lakin senior Isabel Ortiz won a Class 4-1A title last year but was defeated by Hays senior Sarah Zimmerman, a 6-5A runner up, in a sudden victory battle at 110 pounds. Junction City freshman Bri Villanueva, ranked No. 5, pinned her way to the title at 115 pounds, beating Hays sophomore Tionna Napue late in the first period of the finals. Villanueva also pinned top-ranked Larissa Garcia of Wichita North.

Fifth-ranked freshman Julissa Rodriguez of Garden City stayed unbeaten with the 120-pound title, pinning third-ranked Charly Goodwin of Junction City in the first period. Goodwin placed fifth at state last season.

The 125-pound finals featured a grudge match as Dodge City’s second-ranked junior Ariana De La Rosa defeated Great Bend’s third-ranked Daizy Gomez in the consolation finals at state, and during a dual Thursday night. In the finals Saturday, Gomez took the lead with a takedown with just 40 seconds left. De La Rosa answered with a takedown of her own to sneak out with a 7-3 decision.

In a high-energy match at 130-pounds, Hoisington’s Daijah Jones pinned Great Bend’s Katie Kuhlman midway through the second period. Fourth-ranked Bethanie Cruz of Garden City defeated fifth-ranked Lexi Burton of Hays 5-1 for the championship at 135 pounds.

The 140-pound bracket featured another marquee finals match as top-ranked Ashlynn Goodwin of Goddard jumped out to a 10-1 first-period lead against Ellis junior Kaydawn Haag, a two-time state placer. Goodland’s second-ranked Destiny Gonzalez took down Garden City’s fourth-ranked Angel Serano 6-1 for the title at 145 pounds.

Garden City junior Karime Guzman pinned McPherson junior Hunter Wilson for the crown at 155 pounds. Second-ranked Grace Timmons of Valley Center defeated third-ranked Atavia Cain of Oakley with a 69-second pin in the 170-pound championship.

Olathe West made the long drive to Great Bend. It was worth it for senior Mayakla Rivera, the reigning champion at 235 pounds. Her three contested matches at 190 pounds lasted a total of 76 seconds. Buhler’s top-ranked Emilie Schweizer was unable to wrestle her in the finals. McPherson’s second-ranked Clara Rawson pinned Valley Center’s fifth-ranked Gracie Orr in the final championship match of the tournament at 235 pounds.