By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Broken Arrow finished on top in girls wrestling and this year it is official. The Tigers won the inaugural team title and had three contenders repeat as champions at the state wrestling tournament in late February in Oklahoma City. A total of six wrestlers reached the finals.
“It was very meaningful for us to win it again because this year is official, and even though we did the same thing last year,” said senior Ki-Eisha Cathey, the 185-pound weight class champion.
BA was declared last year’s team championship although no team title was recorded in the books.
Fellow seniors Allison Hynes (118) and Olivia Brown (215) were the other two state champions. “The entire day just meant a lot,” Hynes said. “It’s just an exciting experience.”
Both are bound for college, becoming the first Broken Arrow girls to sign to wrestle at that level. Cathey is still deciding her college plans.
Hynes (22-1) won her finals match in a 4-0 decision against Khaleah Kirk (20-2).
“My finals match was definitely the toughest match that I had throughout the tournament and all year,’ Hynes said. “She (Kirk) is definitely a good wrestler.
“It was emotional since it was my last high school match,” Hynes said. “There wasn’t really any worry from me about winning it. That’s just what I came in to do”.
Cathey (18-0) pinned Sydney Milligan (6-3) of Owasso with less than 20 seconds remaining in the match. She credits her desire to help the team as the key to her victory in the finals.
“It was also about the team winning state,” Cathey said.
Milligan was most definitely the toughest opponent that Cathey wrestled, she said. “We’ve always gone against each other this year. She is most definitely a tough opponent to go against,” Cathey added.
Brown (17-0) was victorious against Heidi Noisey (11-9) of Moore, pinning at 1:31 into the match. She credits the work she put into practice.
“For me, it’s just coming in and being consistent in the wrestling room and working your butt off while you’re here, instead of having an excuse for not training the best you can, and going out there and making sure you give your all every time you step out onto the mat because time is precious,” Brown said. “And taking advantage of and using your time well is what makes outstanding athletes except for me, it’s just using my time to the fullest.”
Noisey proved to be a tough foe for Brown.
“She wanted to win just as much as I did, and so did every one of the other girls that I faced,” she said. “It was no different. I think there was expectation once you get to the finals to win, so that’s what made her more difficult than others”
Hynes and Brown signed their letters of intent on March 22 in a ceremony at the Broken Arrow Varsity’s Training Center. Both wrestlers are nationally ranked. Hynes is headed for Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. Brown is bound for Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Each explain why they chose their respective schools.
“They (Grand View) have a bunch of hard workers and there is a lot of potential on the team,” Brown said. They also really care about both the boys and the girls’ programs, and they have a sense of community there that I really enjoy seeing and I didn’t see everywhere that I went when I visited.”
“I went there (Central Methodist) and I immediately fell in love with the coaches,” Hynes said. “The school in general is really good with their academics, but I just see big things happening there, they have some good coaches and some good administration that just loves wrestling.”
Cathey is looking for a great program and a school that supports their wrestling team. “Some schools don’t do that,” she said. “I’m looking for a tight-knit wrestling family because that’s what we have here at BA, where everyone is very tight and very close together. It’s like a sisterhood here, so I’m expecting that as I go to college.”
Rest assured, the young ladies are honored to make their mark to start this program, that was instituted last year.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” Brown said. “I know that younger girls are looking at us and are seeing the accomplishments and realizing that they can do it as well.”
“It feels good because no one can ever take those titles from us and no one can ever say that we weren’t the first. It’s like it’s ours. It’s solid,” Cathey said.
“The feeling is just incomparable,” Hynes said. “I like it a lot. I’m super excited about what can happen with this program and what it continues to do and grow. I think the younger generation moving up into it is already doing so well, so I’m excited to see them through their high school years and what they do in the future. I’ve had a great time at BA.”