By Jason Wesseldyk
MONTAGUE—On Thursday, Dec. 29, approximately 150 female high school wrestlers from 46 teams descended on Montague High School for the Second Annual West Michigan Girls Showcase.
Included in that group of competitors was the Plainwell duo of Madison Nieuwenhuis and Avery Lynch. And the pair represented the Trojans quite well.
Nieuwenhuis took top honors in the 100-pound weight class, while Lynch placed third at 106 pounds.
The weight-class championship was just the latest in a growing list of accolades for Nieuwenhuis, who entered the day ranked second in the state and 17th in the nation for girls at 100 pounds.
“Madison is on a mission to become Plainwell’s first girls state champion,” Plainwell wrestling coach Rodd Leonard said.
Nieuwenhuis won her first three matches via pin, needing just two minutes, 55 seconds of total time to do so.
That put her in the finals, where she squared off with Birch Run’s Jasmine Savan and picked up the 23-8 technical fall in the early stages of the second round.
Nieuwenhuis improved her overall record to 17-2. Thirteen of those wins have come against boys.
Lynch, meanwhile, went the full six minutes in all four of her matches. She picked up wins of 6-0, 2-0 and 3-2.
Lynch’s lone loss came in the form of a 2-0 overtime setback to Savanna Winkleblack of Montague in the quarterfinals. Winkleblack placed sixth in the state last year.
“Avery’s third-place finish has her hungry for the podium (at the state finals) in March,” Leonard said.