Vacek clinches state berth

John Rohlf, Sports Editor
Posted 2/15/23

Warrenton freshman Allison Vacek won five consecutive matches at last week’s Class 1, District 2 tournament to advance to the Class 1 girls state wrestling tournament. 

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Vacek clinches state berth


Warrenton freshman Allison Vacek won five consecutive matches at last week’s Class 1, District 2 tournament to advance to the Class 1 girls state wrestling tournament. 

After dropping her opening match in the 155-pound weight class, Vacek earned four of her five wins while facing elimination to clinch a spot in the Class 1 state tournament. She pinned Gretchen Marriott of Centralia in the consolation semifinal to punch her ticket to state. She beat Ella Lowe of Marceline to place third in the weight class. 

“I really felt a big jump in my wrestling from Christmas to now,” Vacek said. “I was really hoping I could make good progress. It felt more high stakes because I really, really wanted to qualify for state.”

Vacek fell to Addy Pasley of Southern Boone in the round of 16 in her first match of the tournament. After the loss, she wrestled the rest of the tournament in the consolation bracket, where a loss would have ended her season up until the third place match, where both wrestlers were guaranteed a spot at state. Vacek said she thinks she wrestled the best she has all season at the district tournament. 

“It was a lot more nerve-racking but really, you can’t let that affect your wrestling,” Vacek said. “Because then, you wrestle worse. So you’ve just got to keep it in your head that you can overcome almost anyone when you put your mind to it.” 

Warrenton girls wrestling coach Michaela Denny credited Vacek for listening to what Denny and coach Clayton Olsson told her to work on from her loss. Denny believes this experience will be something the freshman can build on the rest of this season and also in future seasons. 

“In that time, she gets to have her confidence and at the same time, still be humble,” Denny said. “She gets to choose what type of wrestler she’s going to be and how she’s going to be an athlete on the mat and off of the mat. From learning to taking advice to growing. That’s important to see in her and she’s taking every one of those things to the next level to get better.”

Warrenton wrestlers Emily Beumel and Madisen Nash also competed into the second day at last weekend’s district tournament. A senior, Nash narrowly missed qualifying for the state tournament. Nash lost to Sam Lage of Blair Oaks on a 2-1 score in a tiebreaker with a trip to state on the line. The match went to three short overtime periods. Nash earned a pair of wins in the first day of the tournament to advance to the semifinals before dropping a pair of matches Saturday. 

“Within the past two seconds, she did a throw and it was just because of the seconds of the match that she lost by points,” Denny said. 

Beumel won a pair of matches in the 135-pound weight class. She beat Melody Hicks of Kirksville in her opening match of the tournament. She also earned a win over Payton Hammack in her first consolation match. 

“They competed their hearts out,” Denny said. “I’m proud of all three of them because they all went out and they did their very best. Just a few of them need to continue learning as experienced wrestlers. That’s what it was. Having other experienced wrestlers beat them.”

Vacek’s focus will now shift to preparing for the Class 1 state wrestling tournament. Vacek’s goals are to wrestle her best and give it all she has at the state tournament. She was encouraged by how she wrestled at last weekend’s district tournament.

“It gives me a lot of hope for the next four years,” Vacek said. “And it makes me really excited about what I’ll be able to do and all the opportunities I’m going to get because of it.”

Denny said their focus in the time between districts and the state tournament will be to help Vacek prepare for next week’s state tournament. They will work on things she could see from her opponents. They will also work on preparing a couple additional moves in addition to what Vacek already utilizes when wrestling. 

“She has some pretty powerful moves that she likes,” Denny said. “Going off those and growing a couple more moves off of that.” 

The Class 1 girls wrestling tournament is scheduled to be held Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.