Dodgers 2nd in home opener

Mariaha Benedict didn’t spend much time on the mat Thursday, but she didn’t need a lot on her way to a championship.

Benedict claimed the 135 pound title, along with teammate Delaney O’Connor (140), as the Dodgers hosted the Fort Dodge Scramble.

The Dodgers (114) finished behind Algona (184.5) in the team race. Humboldt (102) was third.

“We placed second and wrestled well in a tournament where we were one of the smallest teams,” said Fort Dodge head coach Jon Koenig. “Algona and Des Moines are the two biggest, and Humboldt has a bigger squad.

“I’m impressed with all of the hard work that the girls put in the first two weeks of the season.”

Benedict, who was a state qualifier a year ago, picked up three falls, all in under 30 seconds and two coming under 10 seconds. She pinned Boone’s Gracie Vodenik in 26 seconds of the championship match.

O’Connor won both her matches by fall, pinning Boone’s McKayla Silbaugh in 2:49 of the championship match.

“Mariaha did really well and seeing Delaney do so well was great,” said Fort Dodge head coach Jon Koenig. “This was the first long kind of tournament for the girls, the first time we put together multiple matches and you could see that we got tired in match three or four.

“We were crumbling like a cookie in those matches and it shows we just need to work a little more on our conditioning.”

Senior and 2023 state qualifier Maddie Pulis (170), Alejandra Manzanilla (105) and Araya Fellers (115) were all runners up.

Pulis earned falls in 50 seconds and 3:16 in her first two matches, before losing to Algona’s Reagan Haynes in 47 seconds of the championship.

Manzanilla earned two falls in her first matches before losing by fall to Algona state qualifier Harley Tobin (2:44) in the finals.

Fellers earned a fall in the opener, then had a tight 6-4 decision over Algona’s Alissa Engel in the semis. Algona’s Laura Stohr pinned Fellers in 1:21 of the finals.

“In those championship matches that we lost, we just got into some bad positions,” Koenig said. “Maddie knows what she did and knowing how to fix that is the main thing.

“Alejandra and Araya had good nights, we just made some mistakes.”

Gracie Harvey (110) lost her first two matches, before earning two decisions to finish third.

Macy Brown (130) a state qualifier last year, lost her first match, but reeled off a fall, major decision and 7-5 win over Nicole Menke of Eagle Grove to place third.

Senior Andee Barwin (125) placed fourth. She had two falls on the day. She pinned Megan McPeak of Algona and Des Moines’ Emily Leyva.

Along with Tobin, Sothr and Haynes, Malyn Davis (120), Abbe Gorham (130), Gretchen Gorham (190) won championships for Algona.

Finishing second for the Bulldogs was Mara Davis (100), Lillian Allie (125), Sienna Fehr (130) and Allison Trunkhill (145).

Earning titles for Humboldt were Elise Hubbell (155) and Brooklyn Robinson (235). Finishing second were Sophia Harris (110) and Claire Weydert (135).

Jaymie Anderson (125) was the lone champion for Eagle Grove.

The Dodgers are back in action on Saturday when they head to Holstein for the Ridge View tournament.


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