by Michael Smith
When she’s in the circle, Grain Valley girls wrestler Sevreign Aumua said her toughest opponent is sometimes herself.
That’s what she said after her semifinals victory during the MSHSAA State High School Girls Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena.
She noted she needed to have a good mindset during her championship match against Cameron sophomore Justice Brewer Saturday. In that bout, she appeared to be calm on the mat as she got a pin in 3 minutes, 18 seconds to capture a state championship in the 149-pound weight division.
“It feels really good and I am really proud,” said Aumua, who finished third at state last year. “It feels really great to see the improvement in my work and to see that I actually made it and that my work wasn’t done for nothing.
“I wrestled pretty hard and worked hard to get that pin.”
In the match and throughout the tournament, Aumua was take shots out of tie ups and it worked out for her throughout the event.
“In club, I would always work on hand fighting,” Aumua said. “In youth, that was the only shot I took. I tried to expand that knowledge on taking shots. I have done it so much that people know I like to do that, so I try to change it up.”
The sophomore finished her season with a 36-1 record and said she hopes to have more girls on the team after having Ava Kusick join her this season.
“Our team is really good at supporting each other,” Aumua said. “We are family. They really are my second family. Once upcoming girls come to the team, they will realize there are people here that really care about you whether you win or lose.
“The coaches make sure they are there for you and are proud of you. Girls should try it out and never give up. I had some thoughts that the coaches knew about and I have overcome them. That’s all because of my teammates and coaches.”
Aumua said she felt relieved after it was finally over.
“I hopefully don’t have to worry about weight anymore,” Aumua said. “It gets my anxiety up. I am definitely going to get some ice cream.”
Joining her as state medalists on the boys side is Dru Azcona (126) and Tanner Barker (152).
Azcona finished fourth after going 1-1 on the final day of the tournament to earn his second state medal.
“Next year I am going to come back stronger and I am going to work harder,” Azcona said. “I am out for blood next year.”
Barker fell in both of his wrestleback matches but still came away with his first state medal after taking sixth.
“Didn’t really turn out how I wanted it to be. I didn’t come out on top,” Barker said. “I lost in the quarterfinals; I should have wrestled harder.”
Sophomore Sevreign Aumua celebrates following her State championship win in Columbia on Saturday.
Photo credit: Michael Smith