By CONOR NICHOLL
Columbus, paced by junior 109-pounder Addison Saporito, continues to perform well at girls’ wrestling meets. Last Saturday, Columbus was part of state history when it competed as one of 32 teams at Washburn Rural. It marked the largest high school girls’ wrestling tournament in state history.
Two-time defending champion Rural, a 6A program, easily rolled with 293 points. Burlington was second with 175.5 points. Columbus had a strong showing and took third with 175 points. No other squad had more than 144.5 points. Columbus continues to be the top girls’ wrestling program in southeast Kansas.
Columbus remained out of the new rankings released by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association on Tuesday. The top-10 in the 4-1A classification are significant state favorite Pratt, Wellington, Lakin, defending state champion Baldwin, Holton, Hoisington, Chapman, Rose Hill and Rossville. Saporito is the Titans’ lone wrestler ranked. She is third at 109 pounds in Class 4-1A.
In 2020, Saporito became the first Columbus girl to qualify for the state meet. This is the third year that girls’ wrestling is KSHSAA sanctioned.
Saporito won the 109-pound championship bracket and improved to 18-1. She had a dominant run with a 5-0 mark. Her first three wins came by a combined 3 minutes, 32 seconds. She won by injury default in the semifinals. Saporito was third at 4-1A state with a 29-7 mark last winter.
In the championship, Saporito defeated Burlington’s Eowynn Reynard by a 4-0 decision. Reynard dropped to 28-2 and is now ranked fourth at 109.
At 120, sophomore Sophie Lloyd (16-5) earned third. She won by fall in 34 seconds, had a bye, picked up a 4-2 victory against Gardner-Edgerton’s Michaela Konzem, and lost to Washburn Rural’s Addison Broxterman (32-2). Broxterman is one of Kansas’ elite wrestlers.
Broxterman is ranked second in 5/6A, and Konzem is ranked fourth.
In the third place match, Lloyd beat Bonner Springs’ Jenna Knight. Lloyd was 15-14 last winter.
For the 126 bracket, sophomore Harley Long (10-6) took second with a 4-1 mark. She dominated with wins by fall in 1:14, 2:53, 54 seconds and 28 seconds.
In the championship, Olathe South’s Nicole Redmond beat Long. Redmond is 22-1 and ranked first in 5/6A.
For the 126-pound bracket, sophomore Madelyn Garcia (14-11) finished 3-2 with a 5-0 decision and a loss to Redmond. Garcia collected a 16-14 mark as a freshman.
At 138, sophomore Brooklyn Lima (15-8) took fifth. She finished 4-1 with only a defeat to Lawrence Free State’s Madyson Gray, who has never lost to a Kansas wrestler. Lima went 14-15 her freshman year.
At 155, Emily Welch (14-4) finished seventh with a 3-2 mark. She is Columbus’ lone senior. Welch also qualified for state (final eight) and finished 26-7.