Douglas High wrestling

Tiger wrestling secures a pair of podiums at state

Kavanagh second, Tekansik fourth at state meet

Ella Kavanagh wrestles during the Class 5A North regional championships. Kavanagh took second at Saturday's Class 5A state tournament in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Ella Kavanagh wrestles during the Class 5A North regional championships. Kavanagh took second at Saturday's Class 5A state tournament in Bullhead City, Arizona.
Photo by Carter Eckl.

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The Tiger wrestling program had a couple solid results at Friday’s Class 5A state wrestling meet in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Leading the way for Douglas High School was Ella Kavanagh and Aaron Tekansik, who finished second and fourth in their respective weight classes.

As a team, Douglas finished with 48 team points.

“Very pleased with a solid showing. Several kids going deep into the tournament,” said Douglas High head coach Jake Fair. “The tempo of state, you really can’t reciprocate at any other tournament.”

Podium honors

Douglas High sophomore Ella Kavanagh backed up her regional title at 100 pounds by taking second at the state tournament.

Kavanagh faced three opponents from the South, besting the first two by fall and by a 5-4 decision.

The one-point decision win sent her to the finals.

Her finals match ended in a 10-2 major decision loss to Kayli Rhodes of Sierra Vista.

The result bests Kavanagh performance at last year’s state tournament where she took fourth as an individual.

“She worked so hard in the offseason, during the season. She had the ups and downs, but got to the podium,” said Fair. “To go from fourth place in state last year, to move up two places in a bracket that I believe was harder this year, it was an outstanding achievement.”

On the boys side, Aaron Tekansik put together a fourth-place finish in the 190-pound weight bracket.

The Tiger senior started the day 2-0 with wins by pin and 7-3 decision.

In the semifinals against Reed’s Jonathan Eubanks, Tekansik just missed out on a finals appearance falling by a 4-2 score in sudden victory.

“That was probably Aaron’s best match of the season. I know it was an overtime loss, but the progression that Aaron made,” said Fair. “He had to defend the cradle like crazy. … It was a beautifully chess-played match. His match of that tournament was the Eubanks match.”

Tekansik bounced back from his first loss with a pin in the consolation semifinals, setting up his third place match.

However, according to Fair, suffered a pulled muscle, which restricted him in the third place match, losing by a 4-0 decision.

Other results

In terms of team points, heavyweight Caden Martin picked up the next most ream points for the Tigers with seven.

Martin went 2-2 at the state tournament with two wins by fall.

At 126 pounds, Kai Blumenthal earned four team points for the Tigers with a 3-2 record in his state tournament.

Blumenthal opened with an 8-7 win before losing in the quarterfinals. He bounced back with a 6-2 decision win and a 6-4 sudden victory win to make the consolation semifinals where his tournament came to a close.

“Amzing to watch Kai’s growth this year. He’s had to battle a bunch of seniors in the region, so we know what we have coming back next year,” said Fair.

Cody Highfill had a pair of wins at 120 pounds to secure three team points.

After dropping his opening match, Highfill responded with two decision wins by scores of 6-0 and 8-5 before falling by major decision in the consolation semifinals.

Bliss Moody also picked up a trio of team points in the girls 120-pound bracket, going 1-2 with a win by fall.

Gunnar Bleeker, Dalton Nixon, Travis Haliwell, Izaak Conkle and Kelsie Allen Doney all finished their state tournaments with an 0-2 record.

“Some hard fought battles across the board. We have a lot of youth on the team, we’ve seen what we’re up against so we know how to take it up that next notch,” said Fair. “Great season overall. Very proud of the team and the development."


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