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Panthers' Gomez wins state title match
Great Bend Panther state medalist Daizy Gomez (38-3, 130) flips Spring Hill's Gracie Oppeau in Saturday's 130-pound state championship match. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune


PARK CITY — When Great Bend's Daizy Gomez defeated Dodge City rival Ariana De La Rosa for the first time, it laid the groundwork for a 5-6A state wrestling championship. 

Gomez had De La Rosa's name circled after losing to her rival 5-4 at the Dodge City regional. Beating her rival for a state title would be the ultimate challenge to a glorious career.

Spring Hill's Gracie Oppeau ruined Gomez's dream scenario by shocking De La Rosa (3:57) in the semifinals after trailing 9-2. De La Rosa got caught on her back on a 'suicide cradle' move that backfired.

No. 2 ranked Gomez (38-3, 130) pinned Oppeau (2:29) in Saturday's 130-pound state championship match. Gomez lifted Oppeau's 130-pound frame into the air and not-so-gently brought her to the mat as the Panther crowd roared its approval.

"I was confident because I've worked hard to get here," Gomez said. "I knew what had to be done. I'm proud of what I accomplished. I still would've rather had a final match against Ariana. It's too bad she lost."

Gomez beat Oppeau (5:06) at Topeka Jan. 27 after losing to No. 1 ranked Topeka Seaman's Koti Best on a medical forfeit. Best sustained an injury prior to the state tournament and failed to place.

"I wrestled her (Oppeau) at Washburn and tech-pinned her," Gomez said. "I didn't underestimate her because anything can happen."

Great Bend assistant coach Breanna Ridgeway, a two-time state champion, helped calm Gomez's nerves.

"It was nice to have coach (Breanna) Ridgeway helping me," Gomez said. "She's experienced finals match nerves. She reassured me I'd be fine."

Gomez pinned Blue Valley Southwest's Karoline Kendall (0:40)., Gardner's Jadyn Clouse (1:43) and Kapaun-Mt. Carmel's Aalyra Arguelles (2:58) to reach the state finals.

Gomez (32-8, 125) placed fourth in 2023 after losing to Garden City's two-time state champion Maya Tarbet and Washburn's Rural's Addi Broxterman for third place. Gomez (36-11, 126) also placed fourth in 2022.

No. 4 ranked Camdyn Post (30-12, 105) and No. 6 Kaylea McMullen (30-10, 125) both placed sixth. Liberal's No. 5 Isabella Gutierrez pinned Post (2:37) for fifth place. SM Northwest's No. 4 Mia Butler pinned McMullen (2:12) for fifth place.

Washburn Rural's No. 1 ranked Molly Spader pinned No. 4 ranked Post (5:57) in the semifinals. Semifinalist Post pinned Spring Hill's Rylee Jones (0:42); and defeated Shawnee Heights' Connie Burns 7-3. McMullen lost to Salina Central's Lydia Dong 8-4 in the semifinals. 


TEAM SCORES—1—Washburn Rural 118; 2—Dodge City 87; 3—Garden City 96; 4—Olathe NW 77; 5—Basehor 73; 6—Derby 71; 7—Olathe North 68.5; 8—Great Bend 65; 9—Shawnee Heights 64; 10—Hays High 61 


105—No. 4 Camdyn Post (30-12); 5TH; No. 5 Isabella Gutierrez, Liberal pinned Post, 2:37; Post pinned Jones, SH, 0:42; Post def. Burns, SH, 7-3; No. 1 Spader, WR pinned Post, 5:57; Locke, Basehor pinned Post, 1:48

110—Keira Leyva (24-17); Leyva pinned Locke, Basehor, 0:37; Hinojos, Newton pinned Leyva, 1:18' Leyva pinned Frantz, Mill Valley, 1:15; West, Olathe NW def. Leyva, 3-0

125—No. 6 Kaylea McMullen (30-10); 5TH—No. 4 Mia Butler, SMNW pinned McMullen, 2:12; McMullen pinned Mohrsting, SM East, 4:46; No. 3 Dong, SC def. McMullen 8-4; McMullen def. Le-Do KMC, 12-8; McMullen pinned Otte, Hays; No. 5 Taylor, SH def. McMullen, 10-0

130—No. 2 Daizy Gomez (38-3); 1ST—Gomez pinned Gracie Oppeau, SH  2:29; Gomez pinned Clouse, Gardner, 1:43; Gomez pinned Arguelles, KMC, 2:58; Gomez pinned Kendall, BVSW, 0:40

170—Kirra Stevens (35-10); Stevens pinned Burdick, Pittsburg, 2:32; No. 2 Stean, Bonner pinned Stevens, 1:00; No. 5 Martin, KC Piper pinned Stevens, 1:58

190—No. 3 Natalee Daniels (24-9); Daniels pinned Elia Smith, WW, 1:29; No. 6 Morgan Miller, BVSW def. Daniels. 3-0; Redcom, KMC pinned Daniels, 2:06