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Katy ISD wrestlers shine on home mat at regionals

February 18, 2019

Any home mat advantage was reflected early at the Region III-6A wrestling championships Feb. 16 at the Merrell Center in Katy. Two weight classes in, Katy ISD already had three regional champions and eight state qualifiers.

Tompkins sophomore Cole Minnick captured his first regional championship in the 106 bracket, shortly after Morton Ranch sophomore Brittany Cotter secured the 95-pound crown to cut the first notch in the Mavericks’ team championship belt.

The Katy boys had their first of five district champions in the next round of matches. Sophomore Jackson Crandall improved to 48-3 for the season with a wild 22-16 win against Westside’s Christian Lopez, who chipped away at a large deficit.

The Tigers, who send eight wrestlers to the UIL state championships Feb. 22-23 at the Berry Center in Cypress, pulled away for another regional title with 207 points. Cypress Ranch and Westside tied for second with 117.5 points, with Morton Ranch (112.5) and Cinco Ranch (95.5) completing the top five.

Morton Ranch, the 2017 girls state champion and runner-up last year, takes a regional championship with them. Led by gold medals from Cotter, junior Jordan Suarez (138) and senior Vanessa Flores (148), the Mavericks amassed 149.5 points.

Cypress Ranch (127), 2018 regional champion Katy (102), Seven Lakes (101) and Cypress Ridge (74) completed the top five.

Flores improved to 35-9 with the 148 championship, pinning Katy Taylor’s Mary Kate Cooper at the 3-minute, 52-second mark. The senior has been impressed with the team’s commitment and drive.

“I feel like we work so hard in the mat room that sometimes we don’t even want to show up because we’re so tired,” Flores said. “Our bones hurt. But we’re still there because we love the sport. It’s great that all the hard work is paying off.”

Cotter (18-2) maintained control of her final, winning 6-0 against Katy’s Kiara Ortega. Suarez (45-2) achieved a similar result against Katy’s Mhina Oseitutu, winning 6-1.

Both Mavericks advanced to the state championship match last year and are eager to see what the team can do this time.

“I feel like district and regionals, it’s all about hard work,” Cotter said. “After you celebrate it’s back to the mat to get ready for state.”

Katy ISD had five female regional champions, with Katy senior Megan Thomas (40-7) won a battle of 40-win finalists in the 128 class, defeating Seven Lakes’ Sophie Adenusi by an 8-0 score. Thomas placed at state as a junior.

Seven Lakes was represented well in both divisions, highlighted by regional gold from a likely source. Senior Gabi Holloway, the defending 215 state champion, ended a low-scoring match with Morton Ranch’s Ashely Tapp with a pin at the 3:56 mark.

Seven Lakes freshman Julia Nowak (95), Katy junior Didi Box (110) and Morton Ranch senior Celeste Trumbla (119) all earned state qualification in challenge matches to end the tournament. Katy’s Tyler Sliman achieved the same result in the boys 120 bracket.

The Tigers won five of the first 10 boys finals. Junior Brandon Diaz (126) improved to 48-7, edging Cy-Fair’s Daniel Contreras in a 3-1 decision.

Katy sophomore Truman Timmons (145) took his match to ultimate tiebreaker, improving to 49-4 while handing Cypress Ridge’s Gabriel Palos his first loss, 3-1.

Senior Daniel Manibog (160), the defending state champion, and junior Kishawn Higgins (170) had less dramatic victories, both winning by technical fall while surpassing the 50-win mark during the tournament.

Higgins was not surprised by the Tigers’ regional championship. The team has competed at several major meets this season, winning many including the Cy-Fair ISD Invitational.

“We’re expecting to come out and win every time,” Higgins said.

The Tigers could have enough firepower to challenge for a team state championship in a 6A field that is routinely competitive.

“I think we can win if everyone comes out and does what they’re supposed to do,” said Timmons, who returns to state after an impressive freshman season.

Minnick has made tremendous strides in his sophomore season. A 10-year veteran on the mat, he takes a 46-3 record and high expectations to his first state tournament.

He secured his first regional title with a close 6-4 decision against Cypress Ranch’s Xavior Harrell, a 50-5 freshman.

“I’ve made a ton of improvement,” Minnick said. “After last year, not placing at regionals, I took it upon myself to get better.”

REGION III-6A STATE QUALIFIERS

GIRLS

95: Brittany Cotter, Morton Ranch; Kiara Ortega, Katy; Sara Gaytan, Clear Falls; Julia Nowak, Seven Lakes

102: Endygo Scott, Cy Park; Sam McKee, Cy Ranch; Isabella Walsh, Cinco Ranch; Katelyn Paniagua-Aguirre, Cy-Fair

110: Amanda McAleavey, Cy Creek; Lydia Ramos, Cy Ranch; Jazelyn Ruelas, Clear Lake; Didi Box, Katy

119: Olivia Mottley, Cy Ranch; Zahra Metzgar, Katy; Illyauna Martinez, Mayde Creek; Celeste Trumbla, Morton Ranch

128: Megan Thomas, Katy; Sophie Adenusi, Seven Lakes; Maryellen Lafferty, Cy Creek; Macayla Potter, Cy Ranch

138: Jordan Suarez, Morton Ranch; Mhina Oseitutu, Katy; Andrea Solis, Mayde Creek; Kailee McCarty, Cy Ridge

148: Vanessa Flores, Morton Ranch; Mary Kate Cooper, Katy Taylor; Brianna Fischle, Cy Lakes; Alexandra Cisneros, Bridgeland

165: Nia Miranda, Cy Ranch; Destiny Lamb, Cy Ridge; Mikayla Mata, Clear Lake; Zammariea Brandon, Langham Creek

185: Ashley Molina, Langham Creek; Nicole Blinn, Tompkins; Anastasia Evans, Cy Woods; Ana Mariela Moreno, Cy Lakes

215: Gabi Holloway, Seven Lakes; Ashely Tapp, Morton Ranch; Kinsley Staggs, Langham Creek; Callie Youngblood, Bridgeland

BOYS

106: Cole Minnick, Tompkins; Xavior Harrell, Cy Ranch; Douglas Melrose, Morton Ranch; Marcos Saldana, Cy Woods

113: Jackson Crandall, Katy; Christian Lopez, Westside; Micah White, Kingwood; Kenn Santiago, Cinco Ranch

120: Isaih Calderon, Cy Falls; Jacob Grogan, Cy Ranch; Garrett Wing, Mayde Creek; Tyler Sliman, Katy

126: Brandon Diaz, Katy; Daniel Contreras, Cy-Fair; Ruben Calderon, Cy Falls; Takaya Matsuki, Westside

132: Garrett Orlando, Cy-Fair; Luke Holland, Katy; Nomar Belmonte, Langham Creek; Alex Mier-Armijo, Cinco Ranch

138: Daniel Hernandez-Mendoza, Westside; Ethan Reyes, Cinco Ranch; Ian Sandoz, Clear Brook; Caleb Mata, Clear Lake

145: Truman Timmons, Katy; Gabriel Palos, Cy Ridge; Gabriel Sheikh, Cy Creek; Kolby Crowe, Tompkins

152: Johnathan Wertz, Cy Lakes; Jacob Kelske, Katy; Daniel Contreras, Cy Ridge; David Latuff, Cy Woods

160: Daniel Manibog, Katy; Rex Stamatis, Seven Lakes; Zack Good, Cy Ranch; Harris Masson, Tompkins

170: Kishawn Higgins, Katy; Dylan Nowak, Cy Ranch; Reece Jackson, Cy Woods; Amiri Edwards, Cinco Ranch

182: Caleb Mendez, Langham Creek; Trevon Mosley, Cy-Fair; Rommel Azurin, Morton Ranch; James Howard, Tompkins

195: Chris Cofield, Westside; Jarod Camacho, Cy Ranch; Lester Batres, Kingwood; Edwin Merlos, Morton Ranch

220: Jacob Ackerman, Clear Brook; Cameron Quashie, George Ranch; Juan Villareal, Morton Ranch; Bryan Gutierrez, Cy Park

285: Grant Bordelon, Strake Jesuit; Curshawn Wilkins, Katy Taylor; Devon Hopkins, Cy Lakes; Cameron Mitchell, Mayde Creek