COLUMBUS – It was a memorable weekend for Piqua junior Averi Wiley as she finished second at state in the 100 pound weight class.
“It has been an amazing two week run for Averi (Wiley),” said Piqua coach Hunter Bryant. “Nobody gave her a chance in the semifinal match. The whole community is so proud of her. That kid is a trailblazer.”
Wiley, who entered the tournament with a 15-1 record, advanced to the finals with three consecutive wins – two via pin and another being a 7-2 decision.
This pitted her against unbeaten sophomore Makennah Craft (33-0) of Jackson in the championship match. Jackson had advanced to the finals with three consecutive pins.
“We knew the girl was nationally ranked and going to be tough,” explained Bryant.
Like she had wrestled throughout the tournament, Wiley went out aggressive and shot in for a single leg. Unfortunately, Jackson was able to scramble out of trouble and turn the table on Wiley with a cradle.
Wiley fought off her back and remained in contention into the second period where Craft was able to record a pin with 40 seconds left in the frame.
Despite the defeat Wiley showcased her toughness and determination throughout the tournament. She finished her junior campaign with an 18-2 record.
“The atmosphere was incredible,” Bryant explained. “For her to be able to be part of that – this whole weekend was a great experience for Averi.”