-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Maddie Pulis of Fort Dodge wrestles against West Fork Joslyn Bordwell during consolations on Thursday inside Xtreme Arena

CORALVILLE — Before heading off to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s State Wrestling Championships, which started last Thursday and concluded this past Friday at the Xtream Arena, Webster City’s Maddie Pulis had a big goal in mind.

As a member of the Fort Dodge girls’ wrestling team, Pulis’ main objective is to get on the podium. All it takes is to win three matches on Thursday and a couple of matches on Friday.

Unfortunately, she fell just a bit short.

On the first day of the girls’ state wrestling tournament, venturing into the third round on the consolation side of the 155 lbs. bracket. However, Pulis was pinned by Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Erika Brokovich in 3:41 on Thursday evening.

Pulis finished her campaign with an 18-8 record.

“(The tournament) was really stressful,” Pulis said, summarizing her grueling slate of matches. “Most of my matches went for at least three periods, but I’ve learned to fix my attitude before I stepped on the mat. It’s made the most difference.”

In spite of the gauntlet of going the distance in three of her four bouts, Pulis expressed gratitude in her trip to Coralville. For the junior, the IGHSAU State Championships served as a networking event, where she could meet new acquaintances and forge new friendships.

“It also helps knowing so many girls here,” she continued. “All of them are so nice. I’m also happy for my coaches and teammates, for being by my side the entire time.”

Maddie plans to return to the wrestling mat for her senior season, which begins in late November.

By Friday evening’s championship session, senior teammate Alexis Ross (135 lbs.) was the final Dodger left standing. Ross dominated her competition until her championship match, where she fell short against South Tama County’s Maeley Elsbury in a hard fought 2-0 decision.

Macy Brown (130 pounds) bowed out in the first consolation round on Thursday afternoon, while Mariaha Benedict (125 lbs.) saw her tournament run come to an end in the fourth consolation round on Friday morning.

Starting her day on the right foot, Pulis defeated Olivia Fausnaugh of Clear Lake with a 3-0 decision. However, Maddie ran into trouble by way of a 7-0 setback at the hands of Western Dubuque’s Josie Jecklin.

Shifting over to the wrestlebacks, Pulis had her hands full with West Fork’s Joslyn Bordwell. Despite holding a 4-1 lead midway through the second period, Bordwell also caught Pulis with a reversal and a nearfall.

Going into the third, Pulis trailed by two at 6-4. Maddie responded with a takedown with 1:06 remaining, forcing the match to move into extra time.

With 54 seconds left, Pulis scored a takedown and advanced to the third round. There, Brokovich ended Pulis’ season with a three minute, 41 second pinfall.


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