Wellington wrestling returns 3 state placers; hopes to repeat last years success in 2021

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Anna Cullens (right) wins a state title at the Kansas State Wrestling Tournament and is joined by teammate Kaitlyn Hain (left)

It was a sensational year for Wellington wrestling in 2020-21 as they placed three state wrestlers and sent 15 Crusaders to regionals. 

Many of those wrestlers are returning this season, and with the expectation high, the Crusaders are looking to have themselves another successful season.

The three state wrestlers are coming back for the Crusaders. Senior Kaitlyn Hain (33-7) finished in sixth place, senior Averie Burns (6-12) placed in fourth, and junior Anna Cullens (33-1) took home a state title. 

Wellington finished in fourth place and heading into the new season they have been ranked fourth in the Girls Div. II Rankings. Cullens has been ranked first in the 109 group, Hain is ranked fourth at 132, and Burns is ranked third at 235.

Other returning wrestlers for the girls are Nexy Young, Isabelle Cullens, Rylee Dickinson, and Deighlynn Lea. Last year Dickonson and Lea were named to the AVCTL Div. IV Second Team and Young and Cullens were named to the First Team.

The boys wrestling team didn't have anyone place a spot in the state tournament, but they came close. Senior Hagen Wright (31-6) went to Sub-State in McPherson but was unable to qualify after a loss in this third match of the day.

Wellington sent six boys to regionals, but all of them didn't pick up a win, except Wright. He won his first two but lost to Mulvane's top 285-pound wrestler, and took second place.

Other returning wrestlers for the boys include Chase Koehler, Taylen Ramirez, and Caiden Hamilton. Besides Wright earning All-League honors, Hamilton was named to the honorable mention.

Both wrestling programs have a combined 30 wrestlers this year - 17 from the boys and 13 from the girls. Although the expectations are high in Wellington, these are young teams for the Crusaders. 

Wellington hopes to fill three to five open weights this season for both teams if they want to have any chance at winning some duals. Without these weights filled, the Crusaders are giving up 18 to 30 points before the duals start.

The girls will have their first meet on Friday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. at Caney Valley, then the boys will start on the next day at 10 a.m. at Caney Valley.  The first dual for Wellington is on Thursday, Dec. 9 at home against Mulvane.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.