Toledo girls setting an example on the mat

Cocoa Barrett, Kahrma Dawson, Klaira Flatt and Janella Fleser (Left to right) pictured at the Southern Regionals over the weekend. Dawson and Flatt both placed. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Wrestling)

“Our girls say, ‘Watch out Oregon, the Machine-ettes are coming for you.’” — Kelli Simonds

TOLEDO — Over the weekend, four lady Boomers from the Toledo wrestling team competed in the Southern Regionals wrestling competition, earning two sixth-place finishes and showing the strength of Lincoln County wrestlers.

“They competed great,” Toledo girls wrestling coach Kelli Simonds said. “Considering the fact that we are only a 2A school, competing against schools all the way up to 6A, this was a huge competition for us. Our girls did an amazing job, with two of them receiving sixth place. 

“The brackets were large, with over 20 girls in each bracket, so sixth place is a huge accomplishment.” 

Kahrma Dawson came into last weekend's Southern Regionals with a 6-1 record at 145 pounds and it was no surprise as Dawson took the mat and put all she had out there.

Dawson earned one of Toledo’s two sixth-place finishes.

“She wrestled great and we can’t wait to see how far she makes it in the years to come,” Simonds said. “She finished the season with a 10-4 winning record against girls. She also dual-sported this season with cheerleading.”

Klaira Flatt, a sophomore, just started wrestling four weeks ago. Flatt watched the Toledo girls earlier this year before asking to join the team. She might’ve jumped into the sport late, but Flatt came in eager to learn.

The wrestling newcomer placed sixth in state after just picking up the sport. She also played basketball for the Boomers. 

“We gave her a very small toolbox of wrestling moves, which she used to get sixth place at regionals at 155 pounds,” Simonds said.  “She is a natural at wrestling and is going to be a fierce competitor next year. She finished the season with a winning record of 4-3 against girls.”

Freshman Cocoa Barrett has been a constant threat for the Boomers all season long. Even though this is Barrett’s first year on the mat, she ended the season with a 7-5 record and competed on the state level at 100 pounds.

Despite wrestling in one of the strongest divisions that day, the Toledo Boomer made her team and school proud both as a wrestler and a cheerleader.

“She has come a long way this season and has placed at every girls tournament she has gone to this year, except regionals,” Simonds said. “Unfortunately, she went 1-2 at Regionals, but she learned a lot and has a determination to hit the gym in the off season and start wrestling freestyle and Greco so she can place next year.”

Lastly, the only senior on the team is Jelly Fleser. Fleser took to the mat for the first time this year, making it all the way to regionals. She went 1-2 at 155-pounds.

“She improved a lot during the season and competed at regionals,” Simonds said. “She didn’t place, but did very well. She also dual-sported with the swim team.”

The Boomers’exploitsof this season are a sign that the Toledo girls wrestling team is on an upwards trajectory. After two places in the Southern Regionals, both Simonds and the Toledo Boomers hope for a brighter future for girls wrestling.

And, with the four trailblazers setting the example, more girls are expected to follow their lead.

“Because these girls are such great athletes and wrestlers, we now have a lot more girls in Toledo who are excited about joining the wrestling team for next year. We hope to be able to have a much larger girls team and will be able to take them to more girls tournaments,” Simonds said. “These girls are great leaders and great wrestlers and I’m sure they will be competing at the state competition in the next few years.  The boys call their wrestling team "the machine,” we (the girls) like to call our girls wrestling team ‘the machine-ettes.’”

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