Wrestling can spur a litany of emotions.
There’s pain, frustration, happiness and joy all rolled into one.
The Dalles head coach Paul Beasley felt a sense of overwhelming pride Saturday as junior and second-year wrestler Elejah Sutton-Lott steamrolled though her 125-pound weight class with three consecutive pins to earn first place at the Paul/Larson Girls Tournament Saturday in Sandy.
“Elejah was just relentless and refused to be denied a first-place finish,” Beasley said. “We have never seen her so happy, and that in itself makes my entire season. It’s the reason why this 58-year-old busted up old coach spends 16 hours every weekend with these kids. It is outstanding.”
Sutton-Lott had her toughest match in Saturday’s quarterfinal, where she ultimately stopped Laura Monciel (McKay) at the 3:30 mark of the second round.
Her final two bouts were Mike Tyson-esque.
Sutton-Lott used just 1:16 before pinning Tina Tran (Centennial) in the semifinals and then clinched her title with a first-round pin versus North Salem’s Hannah Vipperman (55 seconds).
“In the finals match, she just threw down her opponent with a head-and-arm throw and held on for dear life for the first-round pin,” Beasley added.
Hitting the mats at 130 pounds, first-year wrestler Megan Lenardson posted a 1-1 record for fourth place and 11.0 team points in her second tournament of the season.
Lenardson quickly dispatched McKay’s Leslye Fierro via first-round pinfall (55 seconds) in her quarterfinal match, so in order to advance, she had to get past Benson’s Kamilah Dillard.
Dillard, who ended up second in the tournament, scored a pinfall over Lenardson at 46 seconds.
Wrestling for third or fourth place, Lenardson took a loss by pin in 1:38 against Icela Sanchez-Rodriguez (North Salem).
“In Megan’s first match, she executed a perfect Fireman’s Carry that Coach (Jacob) Abrams has been working with the team on. He would have been very proud. She pinned her opponent in the first round using the move.”
Up next, Sutton-Lott, Lenardson and the rest of the girls travel to Hood River for the Elks Memorial Tournament at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
After two solid all-around efforts, Beasley feels that this will be the perfect momentum boost needed to get them executing at a higher level.
“The girls continue to make each other better in every practice,” the coach said. “Their performance in Saturday’s meet is further proof of their improvement. I could not be prouder of their effort, execution and improvement, regardless of the outcome.”