Lady Hornet Ireland’s historic title paces big wrestling weekend for CHS

Junior first Chillicothe girl ever to win varsity-level weight-division title in tourney; Hornets go 5-0 at Carrollton

As reported to C-T
The Chillicothe (Mo.) High School wrestling Hornets emerged as undefeated champions of the Trojan Duals Tournament at Carrollton Friday, winning matches over Hamilton, Hallsville, Mexico, North Kansas City, and the hosts.

On the same night, but at separate sites, 2020-21 Chillicothe High School wrestlers had profitable performances Friday. In the case of Lady Hornets junior Karyna Ireland, it was a historic success.

Competing in a 8-schools, varsity-level tournament at Excelsior Springs with potentially as many as five opponents, Ireland, a third-year member of the Lady Hornets program, ended up with only two foes to face in her weight class (143 pounds).

She handled those two assignments flawlessly, winning by first-period fall over Danaka Muller of Lathrop (1:53) and Lilly Olcott of Lawson (1:31) to capture first place in the weight division.

She thus became Chillicothe’s first-ever female winner of a varsity tournament’s top-level weight-division title. Girls’ wrestling has been a standalone entity in Missouri and at CHS for only three years.

All four ‘20-‘21 Lady Hornets grapplers competed in the tourney at Excelsior Springs, with two tasting some success.

Junior Haliey Fahling, a second-year participant, opened with wins by fall in her first two bouts before finishing 2-3 in the top level of the 174-pounds classification. Classmate Abigail Clements, like Ireland in her third season of mat competition, split her two bouts, posting her win by fall, as well.

While Ireland’s unprecedented performance clearly was Friday’s headliner, the Hornets had their own successes, collectively and individually, in a 6-schools tournament at Carrollton that same evening.

As a team, the Hornets used their full lineup to decisive advantage in winning all five dual matches in the round-robin event. In each case, CHS had at least double the team points of their opponents – host Carrollton, Hamilton: Penney, Mexico, Hallsville, and North Kansas City.

Individually, three Hornets wrestlers – sophomore Bryce Dominique (5-0) at 145 pounds, junior 285-pounder Christian Peniston (4-0), and sophomore Lucas Reynolds (5-0) at 195 – came through the evening sans defeat.

Dominique had the best evening in actual competition, taking all three bouts which took place. Twice, the other team was without an opponent for him at his middle weight. He prevailed twice by second-period pins and once by a 4-2 decision over Hallsville’s Jacob Plummer.

Peniston was entered in four bouts and wrestled twice, taking both by falls, while Reynolds was slated for all five matches, but actually competed in one. He won that single bout over Carrollton’s Xander England in 57 seconds. 

While not going undefeated on the evening, two younger, fellow-middleweight teammates of Dominique’s joined him in claiming three contested victories during the 1-night tourney.

Freshmen Cayden Larson at 152 pounds and Brody Cairns each had a foe in each dual and posted identical 4-1 overall marks that included one forfeit each.

Larson won at least two first-period falls, with his one loss a 10-9 decision against Dalton Staton of Carrollton. The length of bouts in the match between Chillicothe and Hamilton were not included in the online information reported to the C-T.

All three contested Cairns conquests were by pin – two in the second stanza and one in the first. Like Larson, his loss came against a Hallsville Indian, but Cairns’ was by first-period fall.

With nary a Chillicothean wrestling the potential-maximum five bouts, three others besides those already cited lost only once in at least three outings.

At 120 pounds, 2020 state medalist Sheldon Rader went 2-1 plus two forfeits, the same as sophomore Brock Miller at 182 and freshman Lane McCoy at 106.

Also competing in the tournament for Chillicothe were Joel Edwards at 113 pounds, Rylin Clark at 126, Aiden Zimmerman at 132, Cesar Mares at 138, Dawson Sutton at 170, Rylan Phillips at 215, and James Griffin at both 215 and 285. Of that group, Mares, Zimmerman, Phillips, Edwards and Clark each posted a contested win.

Team-wise, the nearest any of Chillicothe’s opponents came to them were the doubled-up 54-27 margins against both Mexico and Carrollton. The Hornets beat Hallsville 51-25 and both Hamilton and North Kansas City by 66-18 counts.

Only against Mexico were there at least 10 bouts (out of the potential 14) held. CHS won five of 10 – all by fall – versus the Bulldogs plus four forfeits.

Against Hallsville, the Hornets actually lost more contested bouts (five) than they won (four), but with the five forfeits tacked on, won by the wide margin.

Against Hamilton, Chillicothe won six of nine bouts – all pins – plus five “gimmes.” Against Carrollton, the eight contested bouts were evenly split, again with all Hornets wins by fall.

North Kansas City had only seven entries, but three of them managed to defeat their Chillicothe counterpart.

Next on Chillicothe’s mat docket is a rugged double-dual on Tuesday against host Odessa and Cameron, commencing at 5 p.m.