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By Mark Jurgena
The Collinsville girls wrestling team competed in the Peoria (Richwoods) Sectional tournament this weekend.
Five members of the squad competed in the 2nd annual IHSA state series.
“These girls have made incredible progress this season on the mat,” said CHS assistant wrestling coach Adam Gillespie. “It’s most of their first season wrestling at this level of competition. I think they’re all ready to come back this off-season and work towards winning their sectional bracket!”
Sophomore Taylor Dawson raised her record to 30-4 (35-12 including matches with the boys team) this year by beating four opponents to win the 130-pound title.
“Taylor has worked towards this point in the year all season and she knows that the real challenge is just beginning,” said Gillespie. “I think she’s excited to be in a position to beat her finish at the tournament last year.”
Last season, Dawson fell in the state championship bout of the 125-pound class.
This season she began her tournament with a 22-6 tech fall over Jenna Tuxhorn of Chatham (Glenwood) in her first bout.
Next, she pinned Aliyah Brooks of Jerseyville at the 1:55 mark of the contest.
In the semifinals, Dawson pinned Jaylah Dalton of Pekin in 55 seconds to move to the title bout.
Finally, in the championship, she defeated Karen Canchola of Morton via a 5-4 decision. Canchola fell to 22-5 on the season.
Kahoks Emma Ford at 115 pounds and Tashieya Taylor at 155 pounds both went 2-2 at the sectional.
Ford decisioned Alie Chong of Edwardsville 11-7 in her first match before she was pinned by Jasmine Brown of Auburn at the 3:00 mark.
In the Consolation bracket, she pinned Nita Sims from Springfield (Southeast) at the 1:55 mark.
In her last match, she was decisioned 3-0 by Samantha Lauer of Deer Creek (Mackinaw).
Ford finished her season at 16-12.
Taylor began her postseason with a pin in 1:38 over Mackenzie Myers of Robinson.
In her second match, she was pinned in 47 seconds by the defending state champion in the 155-pound class, Lexi Ritchie of Tolono (Unity).
Ritchie is currently ranked 21st in the nation according to USA Wrestling.
In Taylor’s third match, she pinned Melissa Bell of Hillsboro by a pin at the 1:21 mark.
Finally, she was pinned by Elanna Hickman of Alton at 3:07.
Taylor finished the season at 10-15.
Alanni Torres won her first match at 140 pounds against Saryah Dixon of Mt. Vernon via pinfall at 4:00 before falling in her final two matches.
Hannah Jones completed her tournament with an 11-8 mark for the year.
Dawson will compete in the State Finals on Feb. 24-25 at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington