Girls wrestling: Ditlefsen takes eighth in girls state bid

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For wrestler Kaylee Ditlefsen, two points made the difference between an eighth place and a chance at third.


Ditlefsen and Sophia Cornell competed at the Mat Classic Washington State girls wrestling tournament on Feb. 21-22 in the Tacoma Dome.


Ditlefsen, a junior, placed eighth in the 130-pound weight bracket while Cornell went 0-2 at 106 pounds.

In a crucial match toward third place, Ditlefsen faced off with Haven Camden of Washougal before losing 7-5.


Sequim assistant coach Bill Schroepfer said the 7-5 finish was questionable because it was tied 5-5 with less than 30 seconds to go.


“Refs see things different than everybody,” he said about a two-point call. “Kaylee thought it was going into overtime when she looked at the scoreboard. That was a heartbreaker. She could have gone as far as to compete for third from that match because (Camden) went on to face (Chloe Spencer of Euphrata) who injury defaulted her next two matches.”  


To open the state tourney, Spencer pinned Ditlefsen in the last second of the third round.


“(Spencer) was just tough. She was the number three seed out of Eastern Washington and (their) number four seed beat our number one seed,” Schroepfer said. “Eastern Washington has some really good wrestlers.”


Ditlefsen made some strides in the consolation bracket though, pinning Natasha Williams of Skyview in 3:58 and defeating Kendra Dickson of Tumwater 5-2.


After losing to Camden, Ditlefsen lost 10-0 to Jennifer Mendoza of Warden for the eighth place medal.

“(Mendoza) was physically stronger and I told Kaylee to go out and have fun,” Schroepfer said. “I think she tried more new things in that match than any other before. She knew she had to adjust and lost but her goal was to place and she came off the mat with lots of smiles.”


Schroepfer said next year Ditlefsen will set her goals even higher.


“I think we’ll see her higher on the medal stand next year,” he said.


Ditlefsen went to state two years ago and went 0-2.


Cornell, also a junior, saw her toughest competition of the year two in her state matches.


She lost by pin in the first round to Jessica Eakins of Washougal in 4:40 and in the consolation to Vanessa Morales of Warden in 2:33.  


“Sophia thought she’d have at least one win there but I got to see some emotion out of her I haven’t seen before,” Schroepfer said.


“That tells me she really wanted to be there.”


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