Ready for a challenge

Three girls wrestlers punch their ticket to state

Sophomore Alexis Pehrson gets a takedown on her opponent. Pehrson had the top three ranked wrestlers in her weight class at districts. (Courtesy Photo)

The regular season ended with success for the girls wrestling team, as they qualified three athletes for state. Sophomores Alexis Pehrson and Aubrie Pehrson and freshman Jordyn Campbell are now looking forward to competing at the state tournament, the highest level of competition in Nebraska. 

“We’re competing against all Class A schools,” said head girls wrestling coach Michael Swanson. “It’s just cool seeing a small town with literally just a few wrestlers competing at the statewide level like that.” 

Alexis’ current record is 41-2 with no in-state losses. She placed first at districts in the 125 pound weight class, pinning two out of her three opponents.

“[In districts] I had three matches because I had a first-round bye,” said Alexis. “My district was tough because I had the number two and number three girls in my district, so [I had] the hardest district for my weight.”

To win those matches, Alexis prepared by studying her opponents. 

“I looked at my matches with these girls and studied what could I do better,” said Alexis. “I’m always studying different technique and stuff like that.”

A returning state champion, Alexis will be competing for her second state title this year. 

“I hope I can end as good as last year and win again, but I definitely have a little more competition in my weight this year,” said Alexis. 

Her fellow “pin twin” Aubrie also placed first in her district in the 120 pound weight class.

Sophomore Aubrie Pehrson gets in on a shot on her opponent. Pehrson is a two-time district champion. (Courtesy Photo)

“I feel like my hard work has paid off, and it makes me feel really proud of all the work that I put into it during the offseason,” said Aubrie. 

Aubrie’s record is 48-1 with her only loss being to a South Dakota state champion. As a fellow returning state champion, she feels pressure to get a second title.  

“I feel like since I won state last year, there’s this big target on my back, and there’s so many girls that want to beat me,” said Aubrie. “It puts a lot more pressure on me, but I just have to ignore that and just keep doing my best.”

Even though other wrestlers want to be at the top, the twins are ranked as the number one wrestlers in their weight classes. 

“[The twins have] both beaten the girls we expect to see in the finals,” said Swanson. “We’re hoping we can really beat them by a little more or get a pin.”

Qualifying for state alongside the Pehrson twins was freshman Jordyn Campbell. With a 46-6 record this season, Campbell won her first three district matches by pins. She lost in the finals match against a wrestler from Omaha North, getting a silver medal in the 130 pound weight class but still qualifying for state. 

“It’s definitely a dream that I’ve been wanting to achieve for a long time,” said Campbell. “It was super exciting and nerve-wracking when I got to the point where I knew I was going to state.”

Competing against other top wrestlers at her weight, Campbell will be looking for her first state title.

Freshman Jordyn Campbell pins her opponent in the semi final round of districts. Campbell has been wrestling for seven years. (Courtesy Photo)

“I could [win state] if I put my mind to it and continue to do what I know how to do,” said Campbell. 

Continuing down their road to success, the girls are looking to make it far in the state tournament. 

“I’m hoping we see all three that qualified in the finals,” said Swanson. “It’s been awesome seeing them progress and their teamwork with each other throughout the year.”