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Compton leads off Holt's team championship performance; Meyer paces Washington

Compton leads off Holt's team championship performance; Meyer paces Washington

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WENTZVILLE — Reese Compton used to expect the worst whenever she stepped onto the wrestling mat.

The Holt sophomore lacked confidence last year in her maiden journey into the new sport.

"I didn't think I was any good," she recalled. "I always expected to lose."

Those days are long gone.

The new-look Compton, now full of swagger, muscled her way to the Missouri District 2 championship in the 103-pound weight class Saturday with an impressive performance at Holt High.

Compton improved to 25-3 by recording three falls during the two-day meet. She pinned Francis Howell Central freshman Sophia Miller in a spirited title bout.

Her gold-medal performance, in the first championship match of the day, kicked-started Holt to four first-place finishes and a team championship.

Freshman Maria Slaughter (125), sophomore Esther Han (142) and senior Madison Hunke (152) also walked away with championship medals. The top four individuals in each division advanced to the state tournament.

The quartet helped Holt rack up 159.5 points to edge second-place St. Charles (140.5). McCluer North (138.5) placed third, followed by Francis Howell (122.5) and Washington (90).

Compton's reversal from last season is one reason Holt is hoping for a high finish at the state tournament, which will be Feb. 20-22 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

"I'm 100 percent better this year," said Compton, who went to state with a 10-5 mark last season but did not medal.

Holt assistant coach Chris Kyle has helped Compton both mentally and physically. He assisted in removing all negative thoughts and gave her the boost of confidence needed to succeed.

"She never believed she could compete with the top-level girls," Kyle said. "But now, she's totally different. When she goes out there now, it's fun to watch."

Compton's poise was on display in the championship match. Early in the second period, Miller kept wrestling well after a whistle stopped the match.

An exasperated Compton tossed Miller aside after a few awkward seconds. The referee spoke with Miller while an outraged Compton sizzled off to the side.

"I just get mad so easily," Compton said.

Kyle immediately ran onto the mat to settle down his wrestler.

"He said a few things," Compton said. "He told me I was fine."

Compton regrouped and pinned Miller just 34 seconds later.

Kyle said the old Compton would have come unglued.

"She'd probably just walk off," he said.

Not anymore.

Compton, who has 16 pins in 25 wins, is all business and expects to show that at the state championships.

"If I do the right things, I think I should be able to get a medal (top 6)," she said.

Slaughter also shined with a pin of St. Charles senior Kaitlyn Clutter at 1:14 of the championship match. It was the third and rubber match between rivals this season, each recording a fall in their previous wins.

"It wasn't like revenge for me," Slaughter said. "More like determination."

Han, the defending state champion at 143, beat Lutheran St. Charles senior Rebekah Floyd by a majority decision 22-5. Han is 46-1 in her career including a 20-1 mark this season.

Washington junior Allison Meyer pined all of her opponents over the two days in capturing the crown at 115. It was the second successive district title for Meyer (36-3), who finished in a tie for fifth at state last season.

"At first, I was disappointed because I wanted to do better," Meyer said of last year's state experience. "But then I realized I had only been doing this for six months with no prior experience. So I was OK with it. But, I'm looking for more this time."

Meyer took up wrestling partially because her three brothers, all wrestlers, didn't think she could handle the rigors of the sport.

"I wanted to prove them wrong," she said. "It was kind of like a sibling rivalry. Now, they're my biggest supporters."

St. Charles sophomore Cassidy Head edged Fort Zumwalt West sophomore Jessie Deane 9-6 in the title match at 135.

Head (27-9) came up just short of a state berth last season. She was pinned in the last seconds of a match she was leading by a point in the district tournament.

"I really want it and I know everyone believes in me," Head said. "So, I wrestled my hardest. I've been working a lot harder this year and it's starting to show."

Troy senior Autumn Flanigan outpointed Hickman senior Mary Belle Harrell 10-0 in a battle of defending state champions at 120. Flanigan, who won the crown at 110 last year, is 52-0 over two seasons. Harrell, who took the title at 121, is 47-2.

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