OHS girls wrestling competes at State


Ryan Corn, Nikki Koch and Jake England together preparing for Koch’s final match.

Abygayle England, Reporter

The OHS Girls wrestling team was able to qualify four out of the seven girls on their team for the CHSAA Girls State tournament on 2/17-2/19 in Denver, Colorado at the Ball Arena. They qualified sophomore Sadie Corn in the 105 pound weight bracket, senior Nicole Koch in the 118 pound weight bracket, sophomore Aby England in the 161 pound weight bracket, and sophomore Lynessia Duran in the 215 pound weight bracket.

“Overall, I thought the season was good, we’re building on something special, looking towards the future. We’ve got a lot of girls that are going to be back for next year. Nikki did a tremendous job and really is that kind of flag bearer for us this year and next year we hope to continue that on,” head coach Ryan Corn said.

The way the regionals and state work for girls wrestling is all of the girls teams are split into 3 regions, Olathe was in region 1. Then if you place top five in your weight class for that region you advance to the State tournament. Once you get to the State tournament every school from every different “A” wrestles each other. Because girls wrestling is still a relatively small sport so, it’s only split into one division.

“I feel regionals went well, we hoped to qualify more, but we got really close with the beginners. We definitely got lucky with a couple of the seeds and it was good to have the girls there to experience that. I feel it was nice, we had three sophomores qualify and got really close to 5 and that looks good for the upcoming years,” assistant coach Jake England.

Corn, England, and Duran all had very tough first round draws in their brackets, all three of them wrestled the soon to be state champions in their weight brackets, but Koch walked into the tournament with the number one seed and projected to take first. Corn, England and Duran all unfortunately lost their first two matches on the first and then second day, which meant that they were out of the tournament. Qualifying for the state tournament is a huge accomplishment for anyone and it’s amazing when such a small team is able to qualify so much of their team. 

“Overall, State was tough, just for three girls we didn’t have the greatest draws, it’s super though to win matches over there, we know that going in, but the draws we got weren’t beneficial for us, but at the same time I feel like everybody did kind of what they could do, a very tough situation no matter what,” head Coach Ryan Corn said.

Koch walked through the first couple of her matches. Her first match was against Valentina Tarini of Dolores where Koch scored 14 points against Tarini while Tarini scored none, then after scoring these points Koch pinned Tarini at the end of the first period. Koch then moved along and wrestled Genevieve Hunt of Ft. Lupton in the quarterfinals where she again scored 14 points against Hunt while Hunt scored none and then pinned her at the end of the first period. These matches won her way into the semifinals. 

“I feel like I performed, I performed well at State because I didn’t allow a point up until the finals and had three pins,” Koch said. 

In the semifinals, Koch went against Victoria Perales of Northridge where she scored 10 points throughout all three periods and ended the match with a pin before the second period ended. This win punched Koch’s ticket into the finals where she wrestled Persaeus Gomez of Pomona.

“Nikki performed great like she always does, she outscored her opponents a total 38-0 before she pinned them,” assistant coach Jake England said. 

Koch’s finals match can be described as nothing less than a surprise, considering her past high school record. Koch only lost once before this tournament, she is a 3 time state champion, and is the first girl to be inducted into the Colorado Chapter Hall of Fame for Girls Wrestler of the year. 

Koch’s finals match started off with Koch getting the first takedown scoring 2 points, and then Gomez getting a reversal scoring 2 points and then 2 near fall scoring two more points for Gomez making the score at the end of the first period 2 for Koch and 4 for Gomez. In the second period, Gomez had the choice and chose to be on top. Koch escaped from bottom giving her 1 point and then Gomez scored another take down giving her 2 more points, shortly after this Gomez caught Koch in a move that she couldn’t get out of and that resulted in Koch being pinned before the end of the second period, meaning Gomez won. The end score of the match was 3 for Koch and 6 for Gomez.

“I think I performed well in this tournament, I feel like I did a few things wrong in my finals match which led to my loss,” Koch said.

Nicole Koch had a phenomenal high school career and she helped pave the way for many other young girl wrestlers. Koch plans to continue wrestling after high school, because she has done it for so long and most likely will continue wrestling in college. She is an idol to many young girls and encourages them to continue wrestling and pursue their dreams through this rapidly growing sport.