Pacific has its first girls wrestlers advancing beyond the district level since the sport was added independent of boys wrestling two years ago.
The Lady Indians earned a total of 29 team points to place 11th Friday and Saturday in the Class 1 District 2 Tournament in St. Clair. Two Pacific wrestlers, Lana Todahl and Emmaline Steel, both earned the right to advance to the sectional round Feb. 20, once again in St. Clair.
The team district championship went to Washington with a score of 140 points.
“It was a great weekend for our girls program,” Pacific Head Coach Jesse Knott said. “The last two years we have come up one win short of advancing through a qualifying tournament. This doesn’t get us to state, but it is definitely a step in the right direction with Lana and Emma qualifying for the sectional tournament. These girls have been the leaders on our girls team all year, so it was great to see the process pay off for them. If they are able to step out and wrestle to win each time out at sectionals, both have a legitimate shot at moving on to state.”
Todahl led Pacific, placing third at 132 pounds.
After a first-round loss by pin to Union’s Gracie Straatmann, Todahl recovered to win three matches in a row Saturday. In the third-place match, she pinned Washington’s Lindsay Sprung in 4:04.
“Saturday she was a whole new wrestler with a brand new mindset,” Knott said. “She was moving forward and wrestling with confidence the entire day. If she wrestles like this in two weeks, she has a chance to get through to state. In her bubble match she was able to beat (Rebecca) Strong from Marquette. Lana was in attack mode the entire time and was able to build a big lead.”
Steel earned fourth place in the 143-pound division with a 2-2 record.
“Emma was our one wrestler who I felt wrestled well on Friday night and did so with loads of confidence,” Knott said. “She approaches each match with the right mindset and has fun.”
Zoe Fisher (122 pounds) went 1-2 while teammates Caylin McDonald (137) and Scarlett Boyer (159) went 0-2, each ending their seasons.
The sectional round pits the top four wrestlers from each weight class in Districts 1 and 2 with only three earning the right to advance to the state tournament in March.