Warriors wrestle hard at state

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Reese Berns wrestled her way to day two of the girls state wrestling tournament on Feb. 1-2, but was just short of the podium at 120 pounds. (Photo courtesy of John Jensen, The Outlook)

130-pounder Mayleigh Medberry was 1-2 in her three state matches. (Photo courtesy of John Jensen, The Outlook)

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


Over the past two years, the growth of girls high school wrestling has improved “ten fold” in the words of Central coach Colten Ledbeter, who also noticed an increase in the level of competition over the previous season. 


Ledbeter, who has piloted the Warrior program for the past two years, entered this year with an influx of young wrestlers and returning state qualifier Reese Berns, who looked to make a return trip. In 2024, the 120-pound phenom Berns was joined by teammate and rising star Mayleigh Medberry, who was a state qualifier at 130 pounds. 


“Both of our state qualifiers have put in a ton of work since last year to finish the year better than they finished last year,” Ledbeter said. 


Entering the girls state tournament, held Feb. 1-2 in Coralville, Berns was seeded eighth with a 41-6 season record. She defeated Sadie Smith of Kuemper Catholic by fall in just over five minutes to win round one in the champions bracket on the opening day. Berns then lost by fall to Apryl Halsor from Cedar Falls in round two, to close out the morning session. 


Berns was back on the mat in consolation round two, where she pinned Olivia Hallam from Cedar Rapids Kennedy. She capped off the day with another fall, this time over Malyn Davis of Algona, in consolation round three. 


The junior’s next match was Friday morning, as Berns entered consolation round four against Lexa Rozevink from Ames. Berns was bested in the 5.5-minute contest, a fall ending her run at state. 


In the 130-pound bracket, Medberry was seeded 18th with a season record of 47-15 and took on Nicole Bond from Red Oak in champion round one. She lost the match by fall, but rebounded with a fall of her own over Miley Kirkpatrick of Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in consolation round one. Medberry was pinned in consolation round two later in the day via, thanks to Mid-Prairie’s Ashlee Farrier.


“Although we hoped for both girls to come home with a medal as place winners, they both showed that they are tough, hard-working wrestlers who won matches in the toughest tournament of the year,” Ledbeter said. “Now that state is over, we can reflect and see what changes can be made to help the girls continue to grow and finish next year even better.”

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