By ERIC X. VICCARO
INDEPENDENCE — Even though the Missouri State High School Activities Association state girls wrestling meet is just three years old, Ste. Genevieve already has a rich history.
During the 2019 meet, the Dragons placed third as a team, and last year four girls were state qualifiers.
This year, Ste. Genevieve junior 117-pound Izzy Basler and classmate Maggie Myracle (195) return to the state meet — albeit at a different venue.
The 2021 MSHSAA state meet will take place from Cable Dahmer Arena rather than the University of Missouri in Columbia, with a reduced field of 12 qualifiers per weight class.
“This is only Izzy’s second year of wrestling, and she continues to impress me with how determined she is,” longtime Ste. Genevieve head wrestling coach Jared Bonnell said.
“She is going to be a force if she gets everything firing at the state tournament,” Bonnell added.
Basler has put together a 28-6 record this season, which includes a second-period pin over McKenna Dockelman of Washington in the Section 1 championships at St. Clair on Feb. 20.
Last year, in the now retired 125-pound weight class, Basler was eliminated after a pair of matches, falling to Nonnie Justice of Harrisonville and Sydney McGhee of Francis Howell.
Bonnell said Basler has greatly improved, and she will most likely make a deep run this year.
Basler has drawn a first-round bye. She will face either Lydia Nelson of Kirksville or Chase Kiel of Kansas City Staley in the second round. Justice is on Basler’s half of the bracket.
Myracle has bumped up from 187 to 195 pounds this year, and she’s had a successful season so far.
Myracle has compiled a 28-2 record, which includes a third-place finish at the Section 1 meet.
Karli McFarland of Park Hills Central pinned Myracle in the championship semifinals; but, Maggie still found the resolve to win her consolation and third-place bouts to advance.
Last year’s team also featured Kaylee Gross, who placed second — pinned by DeSoto’s Jaycee Foeller in 2:48 — and the graduated Genevieve Nickelson, who has since embarked on a military career in the United States Navy.
Last year at state, Myracle won a wrestle-back match over Paige Clines (pin in 1:00), later eliminated by Waynesville’s Jasmine Duncan.
Myracle will open up the state meet taking on Francis Howell freshman Lilly Murphy. McFarland has been placed in Myracle’s half of the bracket.
Follow the Ste. Genevieve Herald on Twitter (@HeraldSte1) for information during the state tournament.
The MSHSAA state boys tournament previews will run in the March 10 edition of the Herald.