By CONOR NICHOLL
Columbus girls are ranked second in Class 4-1A behind defending champion Pratt. The Titans have kept pace with the Greenbacks in the early season.
Last Friday, Columbus won the 12-team Bentonville West Invitational in Arkansas. Against much larger schools, the Titans delivered 292 points. Springdale was second with 256.5 points. Columbus was the only Kansas team in the competition. The Titans finished third in 4-1A behind Pratt and Hoisington last February.
This could be one of the best CHS teams for any sport in school history, especially in non-golf. Columbus has not won a state title in any sport since girls’ golf in 1999.
The Titans have five ranked wrestlers. Junior Grace Noel is ranked third at 100. Senior Addison Saporito is third at 120. She has committed to Ottawa wrestling. Aubree Saporito is fifth at 135. Junior Brooklyn Lima is third at 145. Senior Jailyn Rodriguez is ranked second at 155.
Saporito was third, Lima fourth and Rodriguez sixth at state in 2022.
Noel took third at 105. Addi Saporito won at 120. Madelyn Garcia collected the 130-pound title. Aubree Saporito took third at 140. Lima won at 145, and her teammate, Graci Major, finished second. Rodriguez took first at 155.
Columbus made sizable gains from the Bentonville tournament last year. The Titans were third with 76 points. Last year, Noel was sixth at 100. Addi Saporito captured the championship in 2021. Aubree was tenth at 132. Rodriguez was seventh, Lima fourth.