Paola’s daughters place third in state wrestling tournament |

SALINA – The Paola Lady Panthers wrestling team made the top 10 in sports history for the second year in a row, placing third in consecutive state tournaments.

Jordyn Knecht and Kailyn Younger advanced to the finals of the Kansas State High School Girls Division II State Tournament held at Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina on Friday, February 26.

Knecht was 3-0 with three pins to win the 126-pound title. Younger was 2-1 with two pins, placing second at 120 pounds.

The Lady Panthers scored 46 points for third place in the team standings, winning back-to-back state trophies.

Knecht led his record to a perfect 36-0. Knecht is a two-time undefeated state champion. She was 30-0 last season.

Knecht was named District Wrestler of the Year, Regional Wrestler of the Year and Substate Wrestler of the Year.

Even competing against Kansas’ best of the best, Knecht has won all three of his games with pins. Not only that, each of the pins was fast. She wrestled for less than 60 seconds in all three games combined.

Knecht pinned Winfield’s Mikayla Konrade in the Championship game in 17 seconds. She advanced to the final with a pin against Ellis’ Haley Cranwell in 21 seconds. Knecht won her first round match with a pin against Isabelle Keesee of Phillipsburg in 21 seconds. She wrestled a total of 59 seconds.

Younger opened the state tournament with a pin against Caxton Smyth of Plainville. Younger advanced to the final with a pin against Alisa Reck of Coffeyville-Field Kindley. She was pinned by Kendra Hurla of Rossville in the title game.

America Harris, 14-11, has also represented the Lady Panthers to the state.

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