Rock Falls’ Ellisa Russell will be part of history in two weeks, as she qualified for the IHSA’s first-ever girls state wrestling tournament with a third-place finish in the 145-pound bracket at the Naperville Central Sectional on Saturday.
Russell won her opening match with a pin in 1:07 before she was pinned in her quarterfinal match. But she battled her way through wrestlebacks, winning by pin in 27 seconds and 2:35 in her first two consolation matches before sticking West Chicago’s Isabella Lopez in 31 seconds in the consolation semifinals, aka the blood round, to punch her ticket to state.
She then pinned Durand-Pecatonica’s Lexie Carden in 5:29 in the third-place match.
Oregon’s Elizabeth Ruter finished fourth at 135 pounds, pinning Minooka’s Calvey Palmer in 1:19 in the blood round to punch her ticket to state. She lost an 8-2 decision to Joliet Central’s Stephany Serna in the third-place bout.
Erie-Prophetstown’s Jayda Rosenow placed fourth at 130 pounds, losing to Glenbard West’s Khatija Ahmed by pin in 43 seconds in the third-place bout. Rosenow earned her state berth with a pin of Elgin Larkin’s Mia Reyes in 57 seconds in the consolation semifinals.
Amboy’s Kaylee Scanland was pinned in 19 seconds by Ahmed in the blood round at 130 pounds, coming up one win shy of a trip to state, which will be held Feb. 25 and 26 in Bloomington.
Oregon’s Wight qualifies for state: Ava Wight rolled a 1,297 six-game series to finish fifth overall at the Belvidere Sectional, and earn a spot at next weekend’s IHSA state meet.
Wight bowled games of 212, 160 and 224 in the morning, and sat in 22nd place after the second game. But she had games of 258, 255 and 188 for an afternoon 701, moving up to grab the second qualifying spot among individuals not on advancing teams.
Oregon finished sixth as a team with a 4,900. Paige Beauchem (928 series), Mackenzie Alford (911), Trinity Hultquist (901) and Kendra Ehrler (863) also competed for the Hawks.
Dixon finished 11th with a 4,501. Tianna Bryson led the way with a 1,059 six-game pinfall, good for 28th overall. Abby Tate (927) and Grace DeBord (909) also bowled six games for the Duchesses, while Autumn Swift (585) and Leslie Pettorini (547) both rolled four games, Emma Hale (266) competed in two, and Reign Bonnewell (109) and Olivia Gingras (99) each bowled one.
Harlem won the team title with a 6,013, while Freeport (5,730), Hononegah (5,552) and Sycamore (5,443) also advanced to state. Hononegah’s Madison Davenport won the individual title with a 1,328, just ahead of runner-up Lida Burgos of St. Charles East (1,320). Freeport’s Hillery Dyson (1,306) took third, and Harlem’s Paige Carpenter (1,303) finished fourth.