Wright City's Riggs captures district title as four Wildcat wrestlers advance

By Tim Schmidt, Publisher
Posted 2/15/24

Four members of the Wright City Wildcats high school wrestling team advanced to the MSHSAA state tournament at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO.

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Wright City's Riggs captures district title as four Wildcat wrestlers advance


The Wright City girls wrestling team will have a mix of experience and fresh faces when its four  state qualifiers step on the mat at Mizzou Arena next week.

The squad had two grapplers qualify for a return trip to Columbia, while two Wildcats will be making their first state appearance. 

Elizabeth Riggs captured the 125-pound title at last Saturday’s Class 1, District 2 Tournament held at St. Charles West to lead Wright City. Teammate Kali Jensen earned another state berth with a second-place medal at 115 pounds. 

This year the duo will be joined by Samantha Yates, who placed third at 110, and Sadie Sehnert, who finished fourth at 130.

The top four wrestlers in each bracket at districts advanced to state. The Class 1 state championships will be held Feb. 21-22.

Looking ahead, Wright City Coach Fred Ross has a simple message for his grapplers.

“I always tell the girls that at state it is more about individual matchups compared to looking at records,” he remarked.

The goals are the same.

“They all want to place in the top six,” Ross said.

Jensen is eyeing her second state medal. As a freshman, she finished sixth and is coming off a strong district tournament. Her only blemish was being pinned in the third period by Boonville’s Audrionnah Donahue.

Prior to the title match, Jensen won her first two district matches by pinfall and defeated Warrenton’s Alexis Ruff by a 3-0 decision in the semifinals.

Riggs was perfect throughout districts. She won her first match with a first-period pin, and followed with a 3-2 decision over Brookfield’s Hadlye Sackrey and a 4-1 decision over Yoo Lee of Chillicothe. 

Ross noted Riggs’ bracket was loaded with talent as Lee placed second at state a year ago and was the fifth seed in districts. 

“Lizzy really wrestled smart and steady against all of her opponents this weekend,” Ross said.

Yates won three of her four district matches, ending the tourney with a first-period pin of St. Charles’ Shavon Kyem. Her other two victories were by pinfall in the opening periods. 

Meanwhile, Sehnert came out on top in three of her five district bouts. She responded to a loss in the semifinals by pinning Madie Shelton of Centralia in the second period. In the third-place match, she lost a 6-0 decision to Brookfield’s Kaecen Brown.

Wright City had five others competing at districts, with multiple wrestlers just missing out on qualifying for state. 

Liliana Wiedemeier (120 pounds), Jolee Lockhart (145) and Ella Greenwell (235) each won two bouts, while Kailin Hawn (155) recorded one victory. Sara Sehnert also competed at 135 pounds for the Wildcats. 

In the team standings, Wright City placed third with 110 points. Brookfield won the team crown with 153.5 points with Southern Boone in second with 131. 

Overall, Ross was pleased with his squad’s performance at districts.

“I thought we had a pretty good tournament with eight out of the nine girls winning matches,” Ross said. “We had a couple of other kids on their backs in the knockout round, but did not finish to win.”

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