Kelso expects the best.
That’s why Makayla Roggow couldn’t speak after a second-place finish in the 12th annual Kelso Invitational on Saturday. The 93-team event that boasts more tan 600 girls and calls itself the biggest female tournament on the West coast.
Roggow’s second-place finish, after 31 straight wins this season, was a noticeable setback. But the Lassies, overall, are in a good place.
Roggow led the way, but Kelso’s sixth-place finish boasted a third-place finish from Ashley McGhee (105 pounds), a fourth-place by Haley McAninch (190) and a seventh place by Eva Medina (235).
“It’s really cool” coach Bob Freund said. “The first year we had like 80-some girls, this year we ran 11 mats and we had a ton of parent help. It’s really great.”
But it was the Kelso community that shone brightest on Saturday. Head man Freund has taken over athletic director duties this season with Len Hiatt taking care of his ailing daughter.
That means assistant coaches have had to take much larger role, the boys team was in full force helping out and parents were stronger than ever in assisting the event.
“It’s a working sport,” Freund said. “You got to haul mats. You put 11 mats out clocks, chairs and tables. Coaches just realize you’re putting on a big event and got to help out.”
At the end of the day, it was easy to see why Kelso has made itself the premier girls’ event in the state.
At 100 pounds, the top two-ranked Washington wrestlers squared off in the finals. At 105, it was a strong wrestler from Las Vegas against the state’s No. 2-ranked wrestler.
Woodland’s Ashlyn Daugherty, who was ranked No. 1 at 110 pound and 16-0 entering Satruday, was topped by a two-time stat placer from Enumclaw in the finals.
“I just got myself in a dangerous situation there,” Daugherty said. “One thing I’ll take from it is I will try to practice more and work on trying to get inside control. It helps me grow because if you don’t have any losses, you don’t know what to work on.”
At 115 pounds, a state cchampion and two-time state placer faced off. At 120 pounds, it was the state’s top-ranked wrestler against one of Las Vegas’ top wrestlers.
At 125, it was No. 1 vs. No. 3. At 130, it was No. 2 vs. One-hundred and 35 pounds was the same. One-hundred and forty was a pair of top-ranked wrestlers.
At 145 pounds, Kelso’s Makayla Roggow fell to the state’s top-ranked Mya Spencer from Ephrata.
“When girls wrestling started we promoted it off the bat,” Freund said. “Gary Schimmel and Leann Johnson do a phenomenal job. They make this thing run smooth.”
AT 155, it was No. 2 against No. 3. At 190 and 235, the state’s top=-ranked wrestlers faced off.
Point being, Kelso has attracted the region’s best wrestlers to the 93-team event.
“There’s a lot of organizational thing I had to start giving out to do,” Freund said. “It’s good for me to give out and give them ownership to do that. It’s been a lot of long, late nights this year. It’s good to start giving them those tasks so when they do take over it’s not ‘Wow, what’s going on?’”
The Kelso girls finished sixth as a team with 142 points. Sunnyside won the event with 201 points.
Castle Rock’s Kylee Jacobs (110 pounds) placed sixth, Rainier’s Allie Ocaint was fourth wat 105 pounds, and Woodland’s Allison Bong was seventh at 155.