Ready for battle – Leavenworth Times
Derek Wiley Leavenworth Time
Mandy Wilson was sitting in her sophomore math class when her best friend, Cadence Christenson, asked her if she wanted to wrestle.
The next thing Wilson knew, Basehor-Linwood coach Jay Johnston was in the classroom.
“That’s how it all started,” Wilson, now a senior, said.
“At first I was just very confused as to what I was getting myself into. I’m so glad I did. Wilson isn’t shy about trying
Wilson isn’t shy about trying new things and likes to stay busy.
A competitive dancer since the age of 3, Wilson also plays the flute and is a member of the color guard, winter guard, powerlifting and swim teams at Basehor-Linwood.
Before school, Wilson does strength training with Basehor-Linwood powerlifting coach Justin Wieser three mornings a week. After school, she trains in wrestling and then trains with Dance Expressions in Shawnee from 4:15 to 10 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
On Tuesday nights, Wilson is an assistant trainer at the Basehor-Linwood Children’s Wrestling Club. “It makes me happy,” Wilson said of
“It makes me happy,” Wilson said of his involvement. “If I want to do it, I do it, then the schedules, I find out later.”
Last winter, Wilson found herself overbooked.
After finishing her sophomore wrestling season with a 23-10 record and placing fourth in the 2020 State Tournament, Wilson was unable to compete in the State Tournament last season due to a commitment in dance.
“It sucked. I was so angry,” Wilson said.
Missing the state tournament, Wilson wasn’t sure how she would position herself as she returned to the mat for her senior season.
“At first I was a little nervous because I didn’t go to state last year and I didn’t know how it was going to be,” Wilson said. “But this is my house.”
Wilson had nothing to fear. She is 22-3 this season and ranked No. 3 at 170 pounds in the 2022 state tournament.
All three losses came to No. 1-ranked Olivia Stean (38-0) as a sophomore at Bonner Springs. “I love the way she pushes me,” Wilson said.
“I like the way she pushes me,” Wilson said after losing to Stean by an 11-10 decision Jan. 27 at Basehor-Linwood seniors’ night. “I know she will make me better and I know I will make her better.”
The third loss came last Saturday in the KSHSAA 6-5A Regional Class Finals when Wilson withdrew due to injury.
“We want to protect her for the state,” Johnston said.
Wilson will wrestle in the state tournament Feb. 23-24 at Hartman Arena in Park City.
“I’m going to fight and I’m going to have fun,” said Wilson, who is also looking forward to competing against girls she’s never wrestled before.
Wilson will most likely see Derby sophomore Trinity Williams (13-1), ranked No. 2, in the second round of the state tournament.
“I love wrestling new people and seeing how they wrestle,” Wilson said. “I love how everyone is different.”
Entering the state tournament, Wilson is 58-16 in his Basehor-Linwood career.
“Mandy is an incredible worker,” Johnston said. “Her training pace is unreal. Her hard work pays off. She’s one of the toughest people I’ve ever trained. It’s unreal how hard she works.
Wilson doesn’t plan to slow down in college, where she hopes to continue wrestling and competitive dancing.
“I’m going to do it all over again,” Wilson said.